Two Days Remain for Governor to Take Action on Bills

Facing a Sunday deadline to take action on remaining bills approved by the Senate and Assembly, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed and signed into law a wide range of measures this week. Notably, Governor Brown signed a series of measures to improve services and support for women, children, and families, including AB 10 (C. Garcia) that requires public schools serving low income students to provide feminine hygiene products at no charge and AB 480 (Gonzalez Fletcher) which provides CalWORKs enrollees assistance with diaper costs for children under three years old.

CHEAC will issue its final bill chart early next week following Governor Brown’s October 15 deadline to take action on bills. Below, we highlight several CHEAC bills that were vetoed or signed into law this week.

Health Coverage

AB 340 (Arambula) – Support

Signed by Governor

Governor Brown signed into law AB 340 by Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula. The measure requires DHCS to convene an advisory group by May 2018 to update, amend, or develop protocols to screen children for trauma within the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) Program. With an increased interest in adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), CHEAC supports efforts to better understand and address the lifelong health, social, and economic impacts of childhood trauma.

SB 17 (Hernandez) – Watch

Chapter 603, Statutes of 2017

Senator Ed Hernandez’s SB 17 was signed into law by Governor Brown. The measure will require drug manufacturers to give health plans and insurers a 60-day advance notice prior to increasing the list price of prescription drugs. Health plans would also be required to report their most expensive drugs, drugs with the highest year-over-year price increase, and the most frequently prescribed drugs, among other reporting requirements. While the measure faced strong opposition from the pharmaceutical industry, it was supported by consumer advocates, health organizations and providers, insurers, and business groups.

SB 323 (Mitchell) – Support

Chapter 540, Statutes of 2017

Governor Brown signed into law Senator Holly Mitchell’s SB 323. The measure will allow federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and rural health centers (RHCs) to have Drug Medi-Cal, specialty health services, and specialty mental health services reimbursed as contracted with DHCS or a county. CHEAC supported this measure as a way to help increase counties’ ability to recruit FQHCs and RHCs to provide behavioral health and substance use disorder services and to improve the ability to deliver integrated services to Medi-Cal eligible individuals.

Health Equity

AB 210 (Santiago) – Support

Chapter 544, Statutes of 2017

Governor Brown signed into law AB 210 by Assembly Member Miguel Santiago. This measure was sponsored by the County of Los Angeles and would allow counties to establish adult and family multidisciplinary teams to facilitate the expedited identification, assessment, and linkage of individuals experiencing homelessness to housing and supportive services. CHEAC supported this measure as a means to achieve better coordination of services and strengthen continuity of care of individuals experiencing homelessness.

SB 138 (McGuire) – Support

Signed by Governor

Senator Mike McGuire’s SB 138 was signed into law by Governor Brown. The measure requires local education agencies participating in the federal school meal program to implement a system to directly certify pupils eligible for free or reduce priced meals using Medi-Cal participation data. The measure also requires high poverty schools to apply to operate a universal meal service program which allows schools to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students without their families having to apply. CHEAC, along with the Health Officers Association of California (HOAC) and the California Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA), supported the measure.

Drug and Alcohol Services

AB 40 (Santiago) – Support

Chapter 607, Statutes of 2017

Assembly Member Miguel Santiago’s AB 40 was signed into law by Governor Brown. The measure allows the CURES database to integrate with other health information technology systems and permits health practitioners and pharmacists to access the database. CHEAC supported this measure as a modest, but important strategy in addressing the complicated and rising opioid epidemic in California.

AB 715 (Wood) – Watch

Vetoed by Governor

Governor Brown vetoed AB 715 by Assembly Member Jim Wood. The measure would have required CDPH to convene a workgroup to review existing guidelines for opioid prescriptions for acute short-term pain and develop statewide guidelines for best practices in prescribing opioids. In his veto message, Governor Brown identified existing workgroups and activities around the topic of opioid misuse and declared AB 715 unnecessary.


AB 725 (Levine) – Support

Vetoed by Governor

Assembly Member Marc Levine’s AB 725 was vetoed by Governor Brown. The measure would have banned all smoking, including e-cigarettes, and disposal of cigar and cigarette waste at state coastal beaches and parks. The measure permitted the director of the California Department of Parks and Recreation to exempt certain areas within the park system from the smoking ban. In his veto message, Governor Brown expressed concern with the violation fee amount, which could have amounted to $250 after other mandatory state fees. This is the second year in a row Governor Brown has vetoed a measure to ban smoking at state beaches and parks.

SB 386 (Glazer) – Support

Vetoed by Governor

Governor Brown also vetoed SB 386 by Senator Steven Glazer. This measure was nearly identical to AB 725 and would have also banned all smoking, including e-cigarettes, and disposal of cigar and cigarette waste at state coastal beaches and parks. However, SB 386 carried a higher violation fee amount. Governor Brown indicated a violation could reach $485 after other mandatory state fees and cited this as his reason for rejecting the measure in his veto message.