Policy Committees Resume Hearings, CHEAC Measure to be Heard Next Week

Following the California Legislature’s floor only sessions and house of origin deadline last week, the Senate and Assembly this week resumed policy committee hearings to begin review of bills from the opposite house. Policy committees will have just over one month to meet and report bills, next facing a deadline of July 14 to advance bills along the legislative process. Looking ahead, the Legislature will take a one-month summer recess beginning July 16.

CHEAC’s sponsored measure, AB 240 (Rodriguez), will be heard next Wednesday in the Senate Health Committee. Recall, the measure would require the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to contract with an appropriate and qualified entity to conduct an evaluation of the adequacy of the local health department infrastructure and make recommendations for future staffing, workforce, and resource needs. CHEAC is joined by HOAC, SEIU California, UCC, RCRC, and Public Health Advocates in sponsoring the bill.

Below, we highlight several bills of interest to CHEAC Members. For a full update, the latest edition of the CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart is available here.

California Children’s Services

AB 382 (Kamlager) as amended April 29, 2021 – SUPPORT

AB 382 by Senator Sydney Kamlager would extend the termination of the Department of Health Care Services’ (DHCS) Whole Child Model (WCM) Stakeholder Advisory Group by two years to December 31, 2023. As a result of implementation delays of the WCM initiative, the state’s required evaluation of the initiative is not due to the Legislature until after July 2022. The extension of the advisory group will allow stakeholders, including CHEAC, to advise DHCS on the evaluation, improvements to the WCM initiative, and potential future expansion of WCM. CHEAC is supporting the measure which is sponsored by the California Children’s Hospital Association. AB 382 was advanced from the Senate Health Committee on consent this week and now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Drug & Alcohol Services

AB 381 (Davies) as amended March 25, 2021 – SUPPORT

Assembly Member Laura Davies’ AB 381 would require adult alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment facilities to administer naloxone hydrochloride and have at least one staff member on premises who knows where facility naloxone hydrochloride is stored and has been trained on the administration of the drug. AB 381 was heard in the Senate Health Committee this week and advanced to the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 10-0 vote with one member not voting.

Health Coverage/Health Care Reform

AB 369 (Kamlager) as revised May 20, 2021 – SUPPORT

Senator Sydney Kamlager’s AB 369 would require the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to implement a program of presumptive eligibility for persons experiencing homelessness to the extent federal financial participation is available. The measure would authorize Medi-Cal providers to bill Medi-Cal for services rendered to persons experiencing homelessness off of the premises of a provider’s office, and a person experiencing homelessness would be authorized to receive primary care services and specialty care referrals from any Medi-Cal-enrolled provider. AB 369 will next be heard in the Senate Health Committee, and CHEAC is now supporting the measure.

Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Services

SB 65 (Skinner) as amended April 15, 2021 – SUPPORT IF AMENDED

SB 65 by Senator Nancy Skinner would implement a variety of maternal health-related activities and services, including extended Medi-Cal eligibility for postpartum individuals, doula services in Medi-Cal, economic supports for low-income pregnant persons, and nurse midwife training, among other items. Notably, SB 65 establishes the Maternal Morbidity Review Committee within the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and sets forth additional requirements for jurisdictions related to infant death investigations and reporting. CHEAC has been engaged with the author’s office and sponsors of the measure to address a series of considerations identified by local health departments. This week, CHEAC took a “support if amended” position to ensure adequate funding is provided for local health departments in carrying out the fetal and infant mortality review processes. SB 65 will next be heard in the Assembly Health Committee on June 22.