CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services 06/24/2011

Medi-Cal

AB 396 (Mitchell) – Support
As Amended on May 12, 2011

AB 396, by Assembly Member Holly Mitchell, would provide the opportunity for counties to receive federal funding for the inpatient medical costs of juvenile detainees. 

Specifically, AB 396 would allow counties to draw down federal matching funds for the inpatient medical treatment provided to minors who are outside of a county detention facility for more than 24 hours. 

AB 396 has been referred to both the Senate Health Committee and the Senate Public Safety Committee. The Health Committee passed the bill unanimously on June 22, and AB 306 now goes to the Public Safety Committee.

Adult Protective Services

SB 33 (Simitian) – Support
As Amended on June 15, 2011

SB 33, by Senator Joe Simitian, would repeal the sunset date for statute that designates certain financial institution employees as mandated reporters for suspected financial abuse of elder or dependent adults. 

Senator Simitian authored SB 1018 in 2007 to expand the definition of mandated reporters of elder or dependent adult abuse to those who work at financial institutions. SB builds that statute by removing the January 1, 2013 sunset date. 

The Assembly Aging and Long-Term Care Committee passed the bill on June 21, and it now goes to the Assembly Floor.

CalWORKs

AB 709 (Brownley) – Support
As Amended on April 6, 2011

AB 709, by Assembly Member Julia Brownley, would ensure the timely enrollment of foster youth who must transfer to a new school. 

Existing law requires a school to immediately enroll a foster child, even if the child is unable to produce the records normally required for enrollment. This includes previous academic records, proof of residency, and medical records. However, existing law does not address the requirement to produce proof of immunization or a vaccination history prior to enrollment. AB 709 addresses this discrepancy by allowing schools to waive the vaccination record requirement for foster youth. 

CSAC supports the bill, which was passed unanimously by the Senate Education Committee on June 22.

Mental Health

AB 1297 (Chesbro) – Support
As Introduced on February 18, 2011

AB 1297, a bill by Assembly Member Wesley Chesbro, would ensure timely federal reimbursement to counties for providing Specialty Mental Health Managed Care services provided by counties. 

Specifically, AB 1297 would align the state’s requirements for the Specialty Medi-Cal Mental Health Managed Care program with existing federal requirements, which will help maximize federal reimbursements for these services. AB 1297 would accomplish this by requiring the state and the California Mental Health Directors Association to develop a reimbursement methodology that conforms to federal Medicaid requirements and approved Medicaid state plan and waivers. 

Counties believe that AB 1297 will both streamline and enhance our ability to draw down federal reimbursements for Specialty Medi-Cal Mental Health Managed Care services – all at no cost to the state’s General Fund. It is for these reasons that CSAC supports AB 1297. The Senate Health Committee will hear the measure on June 29.

Health and Public Health

SB 36 (Simitian) – Support
As Amended on March 29, 2011

SB 36, by Senator Joe Simitian, would allow counties to draw down federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding for children’s health insurance. 

SB 36 builds upon AB 495 (Chapter Number 648, Statutes of 2001), which established a mechanism for California counties to voluntarily put up the non-federal share of funding in order to draw down federal funding through the CHIP. Counties that elect to do so are able to attract federal matching dollars for children’s health coverage and build upon the foundation of the state’s Healthy Families Program. 

SB 36 is similar to Senator Simitian’s SB 1431 from the 2009-10 legislative session. That bill was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. The Assembly Health Committee passed SB 36 on June 21, and it now goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 581 (Pérez) – Support
As Amended on May 27, 2011

AB 581, by Assembly Speaker John Pérez, would promote access to healthy food in communities throughout California. 

Assembly Bill 581 would require the state to seek federal Healthy Food Financing Initiative funds included in President Obama’s proposed fiscal year 2011 budget. The federal funding is intended to combat the prevalence of “food deserts” within communities – areas with little to no access to quality foods that are both healthy and affordable. 

Assembly Bill 581 specifically establishes the California Healthy Food Financing Initiative Fund at the State Treasury and positions the state to access these federal funds. The bill also requires a stakeholder process to develop recommendations on promoting healthy food and accessing federal funding that will be presented to the Legislature.

Counties support efforts to increase the number of fresh grocery stores, urban and rural farm stands, farmers’ markets, and community gardens in underserved communities. It is for these reasons that CSAC supports AB 581. 

The Senate Agriculture Committee passed AB 581 on June 22, and it now goes to the Senate Health Committee. 

AB 1066 (Pérez) – Support
As Amended on June 15, 2011

AB 1066, by Assembly Speaker John Pérez, has been introduced to clean up some of the technical language contained in last year’s Section 1115 Medicaid Hospital Financing Demonstration Waiver bills, SB 208 (Steinberg) and AB 302 (Pérez). 

AB 1066 clarifies some items related to the county-run coverage expansion projects, including renaming the county Coverage Expansion and Enrollment Demonstration (CEED) projects referred to in previous legislation to Low Income Health Program (LIHP). Also, under AB 1066, the state’s deadline for authorizing new LIHP’s would be July 1, 2011, and counties could opt to offer coverage to those with incomes above 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) and up to 200 percent FPL. Lastly, the bill authorizes and clarifies the transfer of some funds from the previous Medicaid Hospital Financing Waiver.

CSAC, along with the County Welfare Directors Association and the County Health Executives Association of California, have supported AB 1066 throughout this process. The Senate Health Committee passed the bill on June 22, and it now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

CalFresh (Food Stamps)

AB 402 (Skinner) – Support
As Amended on May 27, 2011

AB 402, by Assembly Member Nancy Skinner, would help combat child hunger by making it easier to coordinate outreach efforts for the School Meal and CalFresh Programs. 

The bill builds on the eligibility similarities of the School Meal and CalFresh programs by giving school districts the option to help initiate a CalFresh application for students enrolled in the School Meal program. AB 402 will allow, at the option of the local school district and CalFresh administering agency, the School Meal application to be utilized to initiate a CalFresh application. 

Assembly Bill 402 will build a bridge between two federal programs to help feed our youngest and most vulnerable residents throughout the year, not just on school days. It is for these reasons that CSAC supports AB 402.

The Senate Education Committee passed AB 402 on June 22, and it now goes to the Senate Human Services Committee.

Service Coordination

SB 557 (Kehoe) – Support
As Amended on June 15, 2011

SB 557, by Senator Christine Kehoe, would establish two-year pilot programs for family justice centers in Alameda and Sonoma Counties, as well as the cities of San Diego and Anaheim. 

The family justice center concept is simple: co-locate a multi-disciplinary team of professionals in a single location to coordinate services for victims of family violence. This model ensures service coordination but also enhances the safety and well-being of victims of violence and their families. 

Both the counties of Alameda and Sonoma also currently operate acclaimed family justice centers. These county centers focus on victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. Senator Kehoe’s SB 557 supports the family justice center concept by authorizing Alameda and Sonoma counties, as well as two cities (San Diego and Anaheim) to establish or continue to operate family justice centers to assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, cyberstalking, cyberbullying, human trafficking, and elder or dependent adult abuse. 

SB 557 also outlines clear confidentiality and professional practice guidelines, and mandates collaboration with local community-based advocates, survivors, and service providers. 

In short, SB 557 will build upon the progress made by Alameda and Sonoma County by creating a pilot program to examine the success of the model. To do this, the bill also contains a sunset clause of January 1, 2014, and counties believe that the results of the pilot participants will encourage California to continue to build upon the family justice center model. It is for these reasons that CSAC supports SB 557. The Assembly Judiciary Committee will hear the bill on June 28.

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