CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services

Senate Education Committee Passes Vaccine Bill

This week, the Senate Education Committee passed SB 277, by Senator Pan, which would eliminate the personal believe exemption for required immunizations in order to attend public or private (K-12) schools and daycare facilities. Recall last week, the Committee held the bill, however with Senator Pan’s recent amendments – to allow the personal beliefs exemption for students in a home-based private school and students enrolled in an independent study – the bill passed and will now be heard in Senate Judiciary on Tuesday, April 28.

CSAC supports SB 277, along with our affiliate the County Health Executives Association of California.

Amended Laura’s Law Bills

Assembly Member Marie Waldron has made further amendments to AB 59. In addition to the prior amendments – which removed the mandate requiring all counties to implement Laura’s Law – Assembly Member Waldron has also amended the bill to no longer extend the assisted outpatient treatment period to 12 months. The bill now seeks to repeal the sunset date of the demonstration and remove the finding requirement that no other mental health program is reduced as a result of implementation.

Senate Human Services Special Order Hearing on Psychotropic Medications

The Senate Human Services reconvened a special order hearing on psychotropic medications. Bills heard include SB 238 (Mitchell), SB 253 (Monning), SB 319 (Beall) and SB 484 (Beall).

While Beall’s bills, SB 319 and SB 484 were passed and referred to the Senate Health Committee, SB 238 and SB 253 were passed and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

CSAC supports SB 238, sponsored by the County Welfare Directors Association of California, which seeks to increase communication and training amongst all parties serving foster youth through requiring four key aspects:

  • The Department of Social Services and the Department of Health Care Services to develop monthly data reports that match prescription and claims data with child welfare services records;
  • The development of a system that triggers alerts to child welfare social workers and others serving the child such as attorneys and courts, when medications that could have dangerous interactions with psychotropic medications have been prescribed or when foster youth are prescribed unusual dosages;
  • An update to the JV-220 court form to allow key stakeholders to provide information, feedback and details on the overall mental health and treatment plan for the child; and
  • Training for child welfare social workers, foster children, caregivers and attorneys and Court-Appointed Special Advocates regarding psychotropic medications.

Involuntary Commitment

Assembly Bill 1300, by Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley Thomas was passed by the Assembly Health Committee on Thursday, April 23. CSAC remains concerned with AB 1300 as it seeks to make drastic changes to the provisions relating to detention for evaluation and treatment, commonly referred to as the 5150 process.

Medi-Cal Demonstration Bills

There are two bills serving as the legislative vehicle to implement the Department of Health Care Services’ (DHCS) application to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for California’s successor Section 1115 Medicaid Waiver.

This week, AB 72, as introduced by Assembly Member Rob Bonta made its way to the Senate; while SB 36, by Senator Ed Hernandez has moved to the Senate Floor.

Assembly Appropriations Committee

A number of bills are moving to the Assembly or Senate Appropriations Committees. Of particular interest are AB 193, AB 690 and AB 702.

AB 193

The Assembly Judiciary Committee passed AB 193, by Assembly Member Brian Maienschein and referred it to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. AB 193 would authorize a Probate Court judge to recommend a Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS) conservatorship to the county officer providing conservatorship investigations if the court determines, based on evidence and the opinion of a medical professional, that a person for whom a probate conservatorship has been established may be gravely disabled and is unwilling to accept, or is incapable of accepting, treatment voluntarily and is thus eligible for a LPS conservatorship.

Counties are concerned with potential costs, increased workload and the erosion of county authority in conservatorship investigations remain. CSAC remains opposed, along with the Urban Counties Caucus and the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California.

AB 690

AB 690 by Assembly Member Jim Wood would add marriage and family therapists to the list of providers to receive federal financial participation on a per-visit basis at a federally qualified health center or a rural health clinic. CSAC supports this measure, which has been placed on the suspense file by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 702

Assembly Bill 702 by Assembly Member Brian Maienschein was also placed on the suspense file by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. AB 702 seeks to eliminate the requirement that temporary assistance be provided during one period of consecutive days up to 16 days. Instead, it would limit temporary assistance to a maximum of 16 calendar days.

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