CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services 10/14/2011

Child Welfare Services and Foster Youth

AB 194 (Beall) – Support
Chapter No. 458, Statutes of 2011

AB 194, a bill by Assembly Member Jim Beall, grants foster youth priority enrollment in a public university or community college system until January 1, 2017. Governor Brown signed AB 194 into law on October 4, 2011. 

AB 212 (Beall) – Support
Chapter No. 459, Statutes of 2011

AB 212, by Assembly Member Jim Beall, implements 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 and the fingerprinting of guardians. 

Governor Brown signed AB 212 into law on October 4, 2011. 

SB 578 (Negrete McLeod) – Support
Chapter No. 472, Statutes of 2011

SB 578, a bill by Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod, will 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. 

Governor Brown signed SB 578 into law on October 4, 2011. 

AB 709 (Brownley) – Support
Chapter No. 463, Statutes of 2011

AB 709, by Assembly Member Julia Brownley, will 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 temporarily waive the vaccination record requirement for foster youth. 

Governor Brown signed AB 709 into law on October 4, 2011. 

AB 717 (Ammiano) – Support
Chapter No. 468, Statutes of 2011

AB 717, by Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, will 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. Assembly Bill 717 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. Assembly Bill 717 will also help streamline the system by permitting “inconclusive” reports to be purged. Also, AB 717 will allow the Department of Justice to purge all reports in CACI where the person listed has reached 100 years of age. 
Governor Brown signed AB 717 into law on October 4, 2011.

CalWORKs and CalFresh (Food Stamps)

AB 6 (Fuentes) – No Position
Chapter No. 501, Statutes of 2011

AB 6 by Assembly Member Felipe Fuentes makes policy changes to the administration of the CalWORKs and CalFresh programs.

Specifically, AB 6 reduces reporting requirements for CalWORKs and CalFresh from quarterly to a semi-annual by October 1, 2013. Additionally the measure eliminates the Statewide Finger Imaging System (SFIS) for CalFresh participants.

Governor Brown signed AB 6 on October 6, 2011.

AB 1182 (Hernández, R.) – Support
Vetoed 

AB 1182, by Assembly Member Roger Hernández, would have allowed CalWORKs applicants and recipients to own reliable cars. 

AB 1182 would have specifically deleted the requirement that counties assess the value of a motor vehicle when determining or redetermining CalWORKs eligibility. 

Governor Brown vetoed AB 1182 on October 4, 2011, with this message:
 
I am returning Assembly Bill 1182 without my signature. This bill would allow a person applying for welfare to have one care, or possibly more, of any value, rather than a maximum value of $4,650 under current law. In the last year, the state has been forced to make steep reductions in many programs, including the state’s welfare-to-work program. As we into the new year, we may have to make additional cuts. Until we better understand the fiscal outlook, we should not be making changes of this kind.

SB 43 (Liu) – Neutral
Chapter No. 507, Statues of 2011

SB 43, by Senator Carol Liu, makes two changes to the way counties administer the CalFresh Employment and Training program. 
Senate Bill 43 allows a work registrant in the CalFresh Employment and Training program who is deferred to request to enroll in the program as a voluntary participant. The measure also clarifies that counties are not required to offer any particular CalFresh employment and training component (self-initiated workfare, work experience training, education, job search, and support services), but for those counties that do, it requires a report on the usage of funds. Lastly, SB 43 provides that a county has no duty to provide workers’ compensation coverage for CalFresh Employment and Training program participants. 

The Governor signed SB 43 into law on October 6, 2011. 

AB 402 (Skinner) – Support
Chapter No. 504 , Statutes of 2011

AB 402 bill by Assembly Member Nancy Skinner makes it easier for counties and schools to coordinate outreach efforts for the School Meal and CalFresh Programs. 

Assembly Bill 402 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. Governor Brown signed this measure on October 6, 2011.

AB 1400 (Cmte. On Human Services) – Support
Chapter No. 227, Statues of 2011

AB 1400, by the Assembly Committee on Human Services, changes the name of California’s Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, known as SNAP or Food Stamps, to CalFresh. The measure also changes all references in statute from SNAP to CalFresh. 

The Governor signed AB 1400 into law on September 6, 2011.

Medi-Cal

AB 396 (Mitchell) – Support
Chapter No. 394, Statutes of 2011

AB 396, by Assembly Member Holly Mitchell, will provide the opportunity for counties to receive federal funding for the inpatient medical costs of juvenile detainees provided outside the grounds of a correctional facility. 

Specifically, AB 396 allows counties to draw down federal matching funds for the inpatient medical treatment provided to minors who are outside of a county detention facility. Recent amendments specified that counties (which elect to participate) and the state must negotiate the administrative costs associated with obtaining the federal funding annually, and counties will pay the nonfederal share of administrative costs. 

Governor Brown signed AB 396 into law on October 2, 2011, but implementation of AB 396 is pending federal approval. 

SB 695 (Hancock) – Support
Chapter No. 647, Statues of 2011

SB 695, by Senator Loni Hancock, allows counties to draw down federal funding to help defray the cost of providing medical care to juveniles awaiting adjudication in county facilities. 

The measure allows counties to use the local funds that are spent on juvenile medical care to be used as a match to pull down federal Medicaid matching funds for those youths who are Medi-Cal eligible.

The Governor signed SB 695 into law on October 9, 2011. 

AB 1066 (J. Pérez) – Support
Chapter No. 86, Statues of 2011

AB 1066, by Assembly Speaker John Pérez, cleans 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). 

Assembly Bill 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 is now 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, all supported AB 1066 throughout the legislative process. The Senate passed the bill on July 7 and the Governor signed it into law on July 15, 2011. 

ABX1 30 (Blumenfield) – Watch
Chapter No. 16, Statutes of 2011
ABX1 21 (Blumenfield) – Watch
Chapter No. 11, Statutes of 2011

The Legislature has passed two measures to implement a managed care plan tax on Medi-Cal managed care plans to fund the Healthy Families Program. The tax was originally proposed as part of the budget package but was not acted on in June, and was revived in the last days of the legislative session. 

ABX1 21 extends the sunset date on a gross premiums tax on managed care plans from July 1, 2011 until July 1, 2012. The gross premiums tax, also called a “MCO tax” was originally created through AB 1422 (Bass, Chapter 157, Statutes of 2009). The tax is projected to produce $207 million in revenue in 2011-12. Those revenues will be matched with federal funds (for total funds of approximately $500 million) and used to provide a reimbursement rate increase to Medi-Cal Managed Care Plans and to fund the Healthy Families Program. 

Additionally, the measures clarify that the proposed tax would remain in effect if there are no further law changes to do any of the following:

  • Transition Healthy Families Program enrollees to Medi-Cal or other state programs
  • Transfer administrative functions for the Healthy Families Program away from the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board or its vendors
  • Cease operations or repeal the Healthy Families Program
  • Cease operations or repeal the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board

The Legislature had passed AB 1422 with industry support in 2009. ABX1 21 was signed into law by the Governor on September 16, and ABX1 30 was signed into law on September 21, 2011. 

Health

SB 36 (Simitian) – Support
Chapter No. 416, Statutes of 2011

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

Senate Bill 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. 
Governor Brown signed SB 36 into law on October 2, 2011. 

SB 41 (Yee) – Neutral
Chapter No. 738, Statues of 2011

SB 41, by Senator Leland Yee, suspends certain provisions of the Disease Prevention Demonstration Project (SB 1159 [Vasconcellos], Chapter 608, Statutes of 2004), which allowed a city or county to authorize pharmacists to provide up to 10 hypodermic needles and syringes without a prescription. Instead, SB 41 authorizes all pharmacists and physicians to furnish up to 30 hypodermic needles and syringes for human use, without a prescription or city/county authorization, to a person 18 years or older. The provisions of SB 41 sunset on January 1, 2015.

The Governor signed SB 41 into law on October 9, 2011. 

AB 210 (Hernández) – Watch
Chapter No. 508, Statutes of 2011

AB 210, originally authored by Assembly Member Jose Solorio and pertaining to emergency medical services, was gutted and amended on September 1. For more information about the emergency medical services language, please see AB 1387 below. The bill now relates to maternity services provided by health plans and requires health plans to offer such services. 

AB 300 (Ma) – Support
Chapter No. 638, Statues of 2011

AB 300, by Assembly Member Fiona Ma, establishes clear standards for the tattoo, piercing and permanent cosmetics industry in California.
Assembly Bill 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 Governor signed AB 300 into law on October 9, 2011. 

AB 581 (J. Pérez) – Support
Chapter No. 505, Statues of 2011

AB 581, by Assembly Speaker John Pérez, creates the California Healthy Food Financing Initiative. 

Assembly Bill 581 specifically requires the Department of Food and Agriculture to establish the California Healthy Food Financing Initiative Council, which will develop a stakeholder process to help ensure healthy food is available throughout California, and especially in designated “food deserts.” The bill also creates a fund of the same name in the State Treasury, which positions the state to access available federal funds. 

The Governor signed AB 581 into law on October 6, 2011. 

SB 594 (Wolk) – Oppose Unless Amended
Two Year Bill

SB 594, by Senator Lois Wolk, would limit a county’s flexibility to organize and deliver public health laboratory services. 
County concerns with SB 594 include: 

  • The codification of more than 30-year-old regulations is inappropriate and overly restrictive. Counties strongly urge the Department of Public Health to review and update regulations pertaining to the operation of public health laboratories to reflect rapidly changing laboratory technology that provides opportunities to develop new, more cost effective, and highly reliable models for securing public health lab testing.
  • Counties object to the removal of language which would have prevented the Department from passing on the costs of creating and maintaining a new continuing education program for public health microbiologists to local health departments.

Finally, counties remain concerned about the provisions of the bill which restrict how counties organize public health departments by requiring that the public health laboratory director report to the local health officer.
Counties believe that in this economic climate, we must retain the flexibility to provide critical public services in the most cost-effective, appropriate and reasonable manner. It is for these reasons that CSAC opposes SB 594. The measure is in Assembly Health Committee and is a 2-year bill.

In-Home Supportive Services

SB 930 (Evans) – Support
Chapter No. 649, Statues of 2011

SB 930, by Senator Noreen Evans, eliminates the requirements for counties to collect the fingerprints of each IHSS consumer and have both providers and consumers to submit fingerprints on each IHSS timesheet (a provision of current law that had been scheduled to go into effect on July 1 of this year). The bill would also repeal statute that prohibits providers from using a Post Office Box (P.O. Box) for IHSS forms, including for paychecks. A final amendment will increase communication between the state Department of Social Services and the public authorities when a prospective provider is denied employment. 

The Governor signed SB 930 into law on October 9, 2011.

Mental Health 

AB 540 (Beall) – Support
Two Year Bill

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, and it is now a 2-year bill. 

AB 1297 (Chesbro) – Support
Chapter No. 651, Statues of 2011

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

Specifically, AB 1297 aligns the state’s requirements for the Specialty Medi-Cal Mental Health Managed Care program with existing federal requirements and timelines, which will help maximize federal reimbursements for these services. AB 1297 accomplishes 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. Recent amendments also specify that counties will provide local matching funds for any amounts that exceed the state rate, thereby ensuring that no state General Fund dollars are spent as a result. 

The need for developing a new reimbursement methodology for mental health services provided by counties to Medi-Cal eligible individuals is acute. The State’s current Statewide Maximum Allowances (SMAs) system has been frozen since Fiscal Year 2006-07, and counties have incurred significant costs for serving eligible populations during this time. AB 1297 now allows counties to be reimbursed for these local costs by the federal government, all without impacting the state’s General Fund. 
The Governor signed AB 1297 into law on October 9, 2011.

Adult Protective Services

SB 33 (Simitian) – Support
Chapter No. 372, Statues of 2011

SB 33, by Senator Joe Simitian, repeals 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. Senate Bill 33 builds that statute by removing the January 1, 2013 sunset date. 

The Governor signed SB 33 into law on September 30, 2011. 

SB 718 (Vargas) – Support
Chapter No. 373, Statues of 2011

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

Senate Bill 718 allows 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 allows the state, in conjunction with counties and other stakeholders, to develop a form for written reports. 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. 
The governor signed SB 718 into law on September 30, 2011. 

AB 1288 (Gordon) – Support
Chapter No. 370, Statues of 2011

AB 1288, by Assembly Member Rich Gordon, helps 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 extends 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 expands 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. Assembly Bill 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. 

The Governor signed AB 1288 into law on September 30, 2011.

Emergency Medical Services

AB 1387 (Solorio) – Watch
Two Year Bill 

AB 1387, 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. The current language in AB 1387 was formerly in AB 210 by the same author. 

Previous versions of the measure were intended to address Section 201 issues surrounding regulatory authority, local control, and operational control in local EMS systems. AB 1387 now also attempts to create a standard set of definitions for Section 201, and while the author has committed to reaching a consensus on these thorny issues, AB 1387 does not yet meet that standard. 

While AB 210 and AB 1387 were moving through the Legislature, CSAC joined with the Regional Council of Rural Counties, Urban Counties Caucus, and the County Health Executives Association of California in asking Assembly Member Solorio to make this project a two-year bill. Assembly Member Solorio did indeed make it a 2-year bill, which gives the stakeholder group more time to develop mutually agreeable language and address our specific county issues. CSAC has been formally added to the AB 1387 stakeholder group and will be monitoring this issue closely. Counties also want to thank Assembly Member Solorio for listening to the many county concerns and maintaining his commitment to a consensus bill. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the other stakeholders to craft a workable vehicle in the coming months.

Health Care Reform

AB 1296 (Bonilla) – Support
Chapter No. 641, Statues of 2011

AB 1296, by Assembly Member Susan Bonilla, will streamline the eligibility and application process for Medi-Cal, the Healthy Families Program, and the new Health Care Exchange in accordance with the requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014.

The Governor signed AB 1296 into law on October 9, 2011.

Child Care

AB 101 (Pérez) – Watch
Vetoed on October 4, 2011

AB 101 by Assembly Member Pérez would have allowed family child care providers to form, join and participate in “provider organizations” for purposes of negotiating with state agencies.

Governor Brown vetoed AB 101 on October 4, 2011, and included the following message:

Maintaining the quality and affordability of childcare is a very important goal. So too is making sure that working conditions are decent and fair for those who take care of our children. Balancing these objectives, however, as this bill attempts to do, is not easy or free from dispute. Today California, like the nation itself, is facing huge budget challenges. Given that reality, I am reluctant to embark on a program of this magnitude and potential cost. I am returning Assembly Bill 101 without my signature.

Other

SB 557 (Kehoe) – Support
Chapter No. 262, Statues of 2011

SB 557, by Senator Christine Kehoe, establishes two-year pilot programs for family justice centers in Alameda and Sonoma Counties, as well as the cities of San Diego and Anaheim, and requires 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. The Governor signed SB 557 into law on September 6, 2011.

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