CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services 08/19/2011

Emergency Medical Services

AB 210 (Solorio) – Pending
As Proposed to be Amended 

AB 210, by Assembly Member Jose Solorio, would amend what is commonly known as Section 201 (Health and Safety Code Section 1797.201-224) of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) System and the Pre-Hospital Emergency Medical Care Personnel Act (EMS Act) to require grandfathered EMS transportation providers to enter into a written agreement with their respective Local Emergency Medical Services Agency (LEMSA) by 2014. 

AB 210 is intended to address Section 201 issues surrounding regulatory authority, local control, and operational control in local EMS systems. The bill also includes an attempt to create a standard set of definitions for Section 201. 

AB 210 was originally envisioned as a vehicle for the recommendations of a state Emergency Medical Services Commission subcommittee, but that committee has not fully reached consensus on its provisions. However, a stakeholder group comprised of the California Professional Firefighters, ambulance services, fire chiefs, cities and local EMS administrators has continued to meet as the bill moves through the legislative process. CSAC is maintaining a pending position while stakeholders continue their work on reaching a consensus. 

The bill was amended on August 15, but is expected to be amended further in the coming weeks. At the August 15 Senate Appropriations hearing, the counties of San Joaquin and Tulare maintained their oppose positions, while the county of Mono stated their concerns for the record. Monterey County also has concerns about the bill, as does the state Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA). CSAC has maintained a “pending” position on AB 210 and will closely review any amendments to determine a further course of action. 

AB 210 was heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 15 and placed on that committee’s suspense file.

Child Welfare Services/Foster Care

AB 212 (Beall) – Support
As Amended on August 15, 2011

AB 212, by Assembly Member Jim Beall, would implement technical provisions related to last year’s landmark foster care legislation, the California Fostering Connections to Success Act of 2010 (AB 12). 

AB 212 is the result of efforts by counties, stakeholders, and Department of Social Services staff to “clean up” some provisions of AB 12. To that end, AB 212 mostly focuses on implementing KinGAP eligibility for young adults aged 18 to 21, and streamlining the assessment portion of the legal guardianship and adoptions process, as well as KinGAP payments. 

The Senate Appropriations Committee heard AB 212 on August 15 and placed it on their suspense file. 

SB 578 (Negrete McLeod) – Support
As Amended on June 29, 2011

SB 578, a bill by Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod, would help foster children graduate from high school by establishing a system to recognize and properly classify previous coursework or credit from other schools and institutions. 

Counties believe that SB 578 will give foster youth the opportunity to apply prior satisfactorily completed work toward a high school diploma and thereby increase the population of foster youth who are able to satisfactorily complete educational requirements and graduate from high school. The Assembly Appropriations Committee passed SB 578 on August 17 and it now goes to Assembly floor. 

AB 717 (Ammiano) – Support
As Amended June 29, 2011

AB 717, by Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, would improve the use and operation of the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI).

The CACI is a tool used by county child welfare agencies when conducting investigations and hiring of staff. However, because of the sensitive information within the system, CACI has been the target of litigation throughout the years. A result of some of that litigation is a due process structure for persons listed on the CACI. AB 717, as amended, will improve due process by, among other things, affording all persons listed in CACI the right to request a due process hearing if they have not already had the opportunity to do so. AB 717 would also help streamline the system by permitting “inconclusive” reports to be purged. Also, AB 717 would allow the Department of Justice to purge all reports in CACI where the person listed has reached 100 years of age. 

CSAC has changed our position to support due to the recent amendments clarifying the due process and “inconclusive” report process. The Senate Appropriations Committee heard AB 717 on August 15 and placed it on the suspense file.

AB 823 (Dickinson) – Support
As Amended on August 15, 2011

AB 823, by Assembly Member Roger Dickinson, would create a California Children’s Cabinet tasked with ensuring better coordination and delivery of services to our children and their families. 

The bill would specifically create the Children’s Cabinet of California and give Governor Jerry Brown the authority to appoint the members. All state agencies that have jurisdiction over the well-being of children and families would be included, and the Cabinet must meet by March 1, 2012. Recent amendments require the Cabinet to report to the Legislature every odd-numbered year, and also stipulate that the Cabinet will not be formed until there are sufficient funds within the State Treasury to do so. 

By coordinating the continuum of children’s services in California and working to streamline and maximize available private and federal funding, counties believe that the creation of a California Children’s Cabinet will have long-term social and economic benefits for all residents. It is for these reasons that CSAC supports the bill. The Senate Appropriations Committee heard AB 823 on August 15 and placed it on the suspense file. 

AB 709 (Brownley) – Support
As Amended on August 15, 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 is now on the Senate floor.

CalWORKs

AB 959 (Jones) – Support
As Amended on August 15, 2011

AB 959, by Assembly Member Brian Jones, will increase efficiency in the CalWORKs and CalFresh programs by allowing for a one-month grace period during the discontinuance process. 

Assembly Bill 959 is a San Diego county-sponsored measure that is aimed at increasing efficiency at the county level by allowing county eligibility staff to restore eligibility for cases that have been discontinued due to missing information. 

Counties believe that AB 959 will simply reduce the number of CalWORKs and CalFresh applications processed at the local level, help avoid duplication of applications and overlapping eligibility, and save the time and effort of both county staff and program recipients. The Senate Appropriations Committee heard AB 959 on August 15 and amended it. The measure remains in Appropriations Committee.

Medi-Cal

AB 396 (Mitchell) – Support
As Amended on August 15, 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. Recent amendments also specify that the counties which elect to participate and the state negotiate administrative costs associated with obtaining the federal funding annually. 

The Senate Appropriations Committee heard AB 396 on August 15 and placed it on the suspense file. 

AB 540 (Beall) – Support
As Amended on August 15, 2011

AB 540, by Assembly Member Jim Beall, would allow counties to draw down federal funding for providing confidential alcohol and drug screening and brief intervention services to pregnant women and women of childbearing age who also qualify for Medi-Cal benefits. 

AB 540 would provide counties with a much-needed federal revenue stream – at no cost to the state – for these valuable services, and this is why CSAC supports the bill. The Senate Appropriations Committee heard AB 540 on August 15 and placed it on the suspense file.

Mental Health

AB 1297 (Chesbro) – Support
As Amended on July 11, 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 timely 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 Appropriations Committee heard AB 1297 on August 15 and placed it on the suspense file.

Health and Public Health

AB 300 (Ma) – Support
As Amended on June 30, 2011

AB 300, by Assembly Member Fiona Ma, would establish clear standards for the tattoo, piercing and permanent cosmetics industry in California.

AB 300 establishes a clear scope of local authority, clear requirements for registration of body art practitioners and consistent enforcement of mobile and fixed body art sites. The bill also requires body art practitioners, as a provision of registration, to complete courses on the transmission of blood borne pathogens and first aid.

The Senate Public Safety Committee passed the bill on June 29 and it is now on the Senate Floor. 

AB 581 (Pérez) – Support
As Amended on July 11, 2011

AB 581, as amended on July 11 by Assembly Speaker John Pérez, would create the California Healthy Food Financing Imitative. 

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 through the Department of Food and Agriculture 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 Appropriations Committee heard AB 581 on August 15 and placed it on the suspense file.

CalFresh (Food Stamps)

AB 402 (Skinner) – Support
As Amended on June 30, 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 confidential 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 confidential School Meal application to be utilized to initiate a confidential 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.

AB 402 is on the Senate Floor. 

AB 828 (Swanson) – Support
As Introduced on February 17, 2011

AB 828, by Assembly Member Sandré Swanson, would allow those convicted of a drug felony to receive CalFresh benefits. 

CSAC has taken a support position on AB 828 in light of the recently enacted Local Public Safety Realignment, which will shift specified adult offender populations to counties beginning October 1 of this year. Improved offender outcomes will result from a range of locally provided rehabilitative, health, and social services, such as job training, alcohol and substance abuse disorder treatment, and eligibility for human services programs. AB 828 will provide an important arrow in the counties’ quiver by expanding those who qualify to receive 100 percent federally funded CalFresh food benefits to a specified felony offender population. 

The Senate Appropriations Committee placed AB 828 on the suspense file on June 27.

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 Public Safety Committee passed the bill on July 1 and it is now on the Assembly Floor. 

SB 718 (Vargas) – Support
As Amended on August 15, 2011

SB 718, by Senator Juan Vargas, would make it easier to report suspected elder abuse.

Senate Bill 718 would allow a county or long-term care ombudsman program to implement a confidential Internet reporting tool that mandated reporters may use to report suspected elder abuse. Senate Bill 718 also would allow the state, in conjunction with counties and other stakeholders, to develop a form for written reports, as well. The bill also specifies the information to be gathered by both methods, which will speed efficiency in both making and processing reports of suspected elder abuse. Recent amendments also compel any county that chooses to use this method to issue reports on the system to the Legislature, which is a common state oversight tool. Recent amendments also link SB 718 to SB 33 (Simitian), requiring that both bills must pass the Legislature and be signed by the Governor to become operative. 

Counties are responsible for investigating reports of suspected elder abuse, and have a vested interest in ensuring the safety and financial security of elder Californians living in our communities. Senate Bill 718 would serve this interest by giving counties the option to implement a new Internet-based system with the goal of increasing the ease by which a mandated reporter may submit a report of suspected elder abuse. 

The Assembly Appropriations Committee passed SB 718 on August 17 and it now goes to the Assembly floor. 

AB 1288 (Gordon) – Support
As Amended on July 13, 2011

AB 1288, by Assembly Member Rich Gordon, would protect the assets of vulnerable seniors or dependent adults from misuse and fraud while a conservatorship petition is pending in court. 

Assembly Bill 1288 specifically would extend the period of time in which a public guardian or conservator may petition to protect the assets of seniors and dependent adults from 15 to 30 days. The bill also would expand the scope of the possession or control of property by the guardian to include assets held in the name of a proposed conservatee’s trust, and recent amendments protect the rights of spouses of the wards or proposed conservatees. AB 1288 was also recently amended to include direction on Certificates of Authority, which, if enacted, will provide financial institutions with written recordable certification of the conservator’s intent to protect real property from being transferred, encumbered, or disposed of during the petition period. 

Counties often encounter these issues during Adult Protective Services investigations, and it is challenging to complete a petition for conservatorship within 15 days. AB 1288 is a common sense, simple measure to provide appointed guardians a suitable amount of time and authority to protect the assets of vulnerable seniors and dependent adults. It is for these reasons that CSAC supports the bill. 

AB 1288 is currently on the Senate floor. 

Health Care Reform

AB 1296 (Bonilla) – Support 
As Amended on July 13, 2011

AB 1296, by Assembly Member Susan Bonilla, is a vehicle to attempt to streamline the eligibility and application process for the Medi-Cal, Healthy Families Program, and the new Health Care Exchange. It is being developed with the goal of meeting the requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014, and was last amended on July 13. 

The Senate Appropriations Committee heard AB 1296 on August 15 and placed it on the suspense file. 

Service Coordination

SB 557 (Kehoe) – Support
As Amended on July 7, 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, and require the National Justice Center Alliance to report to the Legislature on the effectiveness, possible legislation, and best practices of those centers. 

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 structure for the National Justice Center Alliance 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, which is on the Senate Floor.

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