CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services 04/04/2013

Public Guardian

AB 1725 (Maienschein) – Oppose
As Introduced on February 14, 2014

AB 1725, by Assembly Member Brian Maienschein, would expand the scope of the conservatorship statute to allow interested persons or probate court judges to compel county conservatorship investigations. While counties recognize Assembly Member Maienschein’s and the sponsors’ laudable intent to steer those who are suffering from substance use disorders or other debilitating illnesses into treatment and supportive services, nothing in AB 1725 will expand the availability of treatment, services, or funding for this population.

AB 1725 would also expand the definition of the cause of grave disability to include substance use disorders and addiction. AB 1725 would also allow a family member or “interested person” to directly petition the probate court to establish a conservatorship. It would further authorize the probate court to recommend an LPS conservatorship to the county conservatorship officer and compel the officer to conduct a conservatorship investigation. AB 1725 also includes an unrealistic mandate requiring the conservatorship officer to complete the investigation and file a copy of the findings within 30 days of the court’s recommendation. 

The single point of entry and time limitation for conservatorship – with involvement by the Legislature, the courts, and counties – was designed to balance the rights of potential conservatees with the general welfare of both the individual and the public. The current conservatorship process operates under a robust statutory framework, provides for multiple levels of accountability, and can assist those who truly meet the definition of gravely disabled. It is for these reasons that counties oppose the provisions of AB 1725 as introduced. This measure will be heard by the Assembly Health Committee on April 8,a dn has also been referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee. 

Public Health

AB 467 (Stone) – Support
Enrolled on April 1, 2014

AB 467, by Assembly Member Mark Stone, would allow the California State Board of Pharmacy to license a surplus medication collection and distribution intermediary (SMCDI), with standards and safeguards to ensure the efficiency and safety of county Pharmaceutical Repository and Distribution Programs (SB 1329 by Senator Joe Simitian, Chapter 709, Statutes of 2012). 
CSAC supported SB 1329 and supports AB 467 to further clarify technical portions of Pharmaceutical Repository and Distribution Programs. The Senate passed AB 467 on April 1, and it is now enrolled and awaits the Governor’s action. 

Social Services

SB 909 (Pavley) – Support
As Amended on March 20, 2014

SB 909, by Senator Fran Pavley, would permit a social worker to authorize an initial medical, dental, and mental health screening for children in temporary custody after an initial examination without parental consent or a court order. 
SB 909 is sponsored by Los Angeles County and will assist all counties in expediting needed health care for the children in our custody. Further, this measure is not a mandate and may reduce county costs by allowing children to receive basic medical care before mounting a costly effort to gain parental or judicial consent. 

CSAC strongly supports SB 909, which is set for hearing on April 8 in the Senate Human Services Committee. 

SB 1029 (Hancock) – Support
As Amended on March 20, 2014

SB 1029, by Senator Loni Hancock, would authorize CalWORKs and CalFresh benefits for individuals in the community who were convicted of a drug felony after December 31, 1997. Recent amendments also require the Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC) and the County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) to work with the Department of Social Services on implementation issues. CSAC supports the measure, which is set for hearing on April 8 before the Senate Human Services Committee. 

AB 1452 (Stone) – Support
As Amended on April 2, 2014

AB 1452, by Assembly Member Mark Stone, would increase the amount of homeless assistance funding available to a family of four from $65 to $75 and increase the daily maximum based on family size to $135. It would also require annual adjustments of the amount based on increases or decreases in cost of living expenses. 

CSAC supports the measure, which was amended this week. It is expected to be heard next by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. 

AB 1654 (Bonilla) – Support
As Introduced on February 11, 2014 

AB 1654, by Assembly Member Susan Bonilla, would increase the amount of the child support pass through for those on CalWORKs aid from $50 for one child and $100 for a family with two or more children to $100 and $200 respectively. 

CSAC supports the measure, which was passed by the Assembly Human Services Committee on March 26 and the Assembly Judiciary Committee on April 1. It will be heard next by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. 

AB 2379 (Weber) – Support
As Introduced on February 21, 2014

AB 2379, by Assembly Member Shirley Weber, would increase information sharing among county Child Welfare Services (CWS) and Adult Protective Services (APS) systems. 

AB 2379 is a simple, common-sense bill to increase communication among the CWS and APS systems that will help prevent abuse at any age. It is not a mandate and has no fiscal impacts other than to save the pain, suffering, and costs associated with ongoing dependent adult abuse. It is for these reasons CSAC supports AB 2379, which will be heard by the Assembly Human Services Committee on April 8. 

Medi-Cal

SB 1089 (Mitchell) – Support 
As Introduced on February 19, 2014

SB 1089, as amended by Senator Holly Mitchell, is sponsored by Los Angeles County and intended as a technical clean-up measure for AB 396 (Chapter 394, Statutes of 2011). AB 396 created a voluntary program that allows counties to draw down federal matching funds for the medical treatment of minors who are held in a juvenile justice facility and require hospitalization. SB 1089 seeks to clarify the county’s share of the costs and encourage the development of a claiming process.

CSAC supports SB 1089, which was passed by the Senate Health Committee on March 26 and will be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee on April 7. 

Mental Health

SB 1054 (Steinberg) – Support
As Introduced on February 18, 2014

SB 1054, by Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, would resurrect the Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction (MIOCR) grant program by providing $25 million for juvenile offenders and $25 million for adult offenders in 2014-15. 
The competitive grant program would be administered by the Board of State and Community Corrections and disbursements would be made to counties that expand or establish a continuum of swift, certain, and graduated responses to reduce crime and criminal justice costs related to mentally ill offenders over four years. 
CSAC strongly supports Senator Steinberg’s efforts to target funding for intensive services to those who suffer from mental illness in the criminal justice system. The Senate Public Safety Committee will hear SB 1054 on April 22. CSAC will be submitting a joint Administration of Justice and Health and Human Services letter in strong support of the measure. 
Health

SB 1150 (Hueso and Correa)– Support
Both Introduced on February 20, 2014

SB 1150 by Senators Ben Hueso and Lou Correa are would allow federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Centers (RHCs) to be reimbursed by Medi-Cal for two visits by a patient with a single or different health care professional on the same day at a single location. 
Specifically, SB 1150 would allow for billing for two visits when a patient has a medical visit and an additional visit with a mental health practitioner or a dental professional. It is sponsored by Orange County. 
CSAC understands that SB 1150 will be the primary vehicle for this policy, with Senator Correa signing on as a co-author. CSAC supports SB 1150, which was passed by the Senate Health Committee on April 2 and now goes to the Appropriations Committee.

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