Two Weeks Remain Before Legislative Summer Recess, Aragón Confirmed by Senate

The California State Senate and Assembly continue their steady pace of policy committee hearings with two weeks remaining before the Legislature’s month-long summer recess. Just before adjourning for their recess, lawmakers face a July 14 deadline to convene policy committees to meet and report bills. As such, bills continue to be negotiated, amended, and advanced along the legislative process.

Of note this week, the Senate on Monday unanimously confirmed Dr. Tomás Aragón as the Director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and State Public Health Officer. Recall, just last week, the Senate Rules Committee convened a confirmation hearing to review Dr. Aragon’s appointment and unanimously advanced his appointment to the full Senate floor.

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

Build Environment & Climate Change

AB 585 (L. Rivas) as amended June 30, 2021 – SUPPORT

Assembly Member Luz Rivas’s AB 585 establishes, upon an appropriation by the Legislature, the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program within the Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to coordinate state efforts and support local and regional efforts to mitigate the impacts of and reduce the public health risks of extreme heat. OPR would establish criteria and guidelines for grants and give priority to applicants serving disadvantaged communities and vulnerable populations. AB 585 was heard this week in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and passed on a 9-0 vote and now moves to Senate Environmental Quality Committee.

Communicable Disease Control

AB 789 (Low) as amended June 28, 2021 – SUPPORT      

AB 789 authored by Assembly Member Evan Low was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. The measure would require an adult patient receiving primary care services in a facility, clinic, unlicensed clinic, center, officer, or other setting, to be offered screening test for Hepatitis B and C if their insurance covers the cost. Follow-up care must be provided or referral to a health care provider to those who opt to be tested and either test positive for Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C. AB 789 was advanced from the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 11-0 vote and next moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

SB 742 (Pan) as amended March 4, 2021 – SUPPORT

Senator Richard Pan’s SB 742 was heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee this week. The measure would prohibit a person from engaging in physical obstruction, intimidation, or picketing targeted at a vaccination site during the site’s operational hours. SB 742 was advanced out of Assembly Public Safety Committee on a 6-2 vote and is now in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Health Equity

AB 1407 (Burke) as amended June 21, 2021 – SUPPORT

Assembly Member Autumn Burke’s AB 1407 would require schools of nursing and nursing programs to include direct participation in one hour of implicit bias training as a requirement for graduation. The measure would require, beginning January 2023, nurse licensees within the first two years of holding their license to complete one hour of direct participation in an implicit bias course. Hospitals would also be required to implement an evidence-based implicit bias program as part of its new graduate training program that hires and trains new nursing graduates. AB 1407 was passed out of the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee on a 12-1 vote with one member not voting and now moves onto the Senate Health Committee.

SB 17 (Pan) as amended May 20, 2021 – SUPPORT

SB 17, authored by Senator Richard Pan, was advanced this week from the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee on a 5-0 vote with two members not voting and now moves to Assembly Appropriations Committee. This measure would establish a statewide Office of Racial Equity to be governed by a Racial Equity Advisory and Accountability Council to coordinate, analyze, develop, evaluate, and recommend strategies for advancing racial equity across state agencies, departments, and the Office of the Governor. CHEAC is joined by the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH), the County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA), and the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California (CBHDA).