Appropriations Committees Decide on Senate and Assembly HHS Bills
August 27, 2021
The Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees met on Thursday to decide on scores of bills with state fiscal impacts on the suspense files. Bills voted on yesterday will either continue into the final weeks of floor debate in each house, become two-year bills, or get held in Committee without forward progress. The Legislature has until September 10 to send legislation to the Governor’s desk to complete the 2021 Legislative session. The CSAC Health and Human Services team monitored the outcome of the suspense bills and have highlighted the following bills below.
AB 226 (Ramos), would reclassify children’s crisis residential programs as children’s crisis psychiatric residential treatment facilities and transfer current licensing requirements from the Department of Social Services (CDSS) to the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). The bill additionally, defines what constitutes a children’s crisis psychiatric residential treatment facility. The bill was passed by the committee with amendments. CSAC supports this measure as a critical step towards a statewide effective crisis continuum for youth while increasing the ability to receive additional federal funding. CSAC supports this legislation.
AB 666 (Chiu), would require DHCS to develop a statewide substance use disorder (SUD) workforce needs assessment by July 1, 2022. The Committee passed this measure. Counties have support legislation that works towards assisting in growing and retaining the behavioral health workforce. AB 666 will provide the data needed to identify SUD workforce gaps. CSAC supports this legislation.
SB 316 (Eggman): This measure would allow counties and health care providers to receive Medi-Cal reimbursement for up to two visits a day at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) or Rural Health Clinics (RHC). The Committee passed this measure. SB 316 follows previous legislation that would allow reimbursement for a patient who schedules a medical visit and behavioral health or dental visit on the same day at the same location, integrating health care services and ensuring that people can access the care they need. FQHCs and RHCs often partner with counties to provide access to both health care and substance use disorder or mental health services for underserved populations and in geographically diverse areas. CSAC supports this legislation.
SB 395 (Caballero): This measure would impose an excise tax on all electronic cigarette products sold in the state. Additionally, the bill establishes the Health Careers Opportunity Grant Program to support access by underrepresented students from disadvantaged backgrounds to postsecondary health professions programs. The Committee passed this measure with amendments. SB 395 provides an opportunity to reduce consumption of electronic cigarette products while funding public health, early childhood development programs, and health professions in California. CSAC supports this legislation.
SB 749 (Glazer): This measure would require counties to report specific data to the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) on a timeline not yet determined. The measure would also require the MHSOAC to create a tracking program that will be comprised of the reported county data with a requirement for the MHSOAC to report on creation and implementation efforts by January 1, 2023. The bill was passed by the committee. CSAC opposes this legislation due to the duplicative reporting requirements the bill would impose. Additionally, there is proposed legislation that will provide a stakeholder process to strategically address reporting and outcome measures. CSAC opposes this legislation.