CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services

Suspense File Actions

The Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees convened suspense file hearings on Thursday, May 28. There were several health and human services-related bills of significance to counties on the suspense file. See below for a recap of the bill and actions that were taken.

Involuntary Commitment

AB 1300 (Ridley-Thomas) – OPPOSE
As Amended on May 20, 2015

CSAC is pleased to report that AB 1300 was not heard by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. CSAC, along with the County Behavioral Health Directors Association and the National Alliance for Mental Illness – who represent the family members of those suffering from mental illness – strongly opposed AB 1300. AB 1300 would have made over 80 technical changes to the Lanterman Petris-Short (LPS) Act (Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5000 et. seq.) – commonly referred to as the 5150 process– concerning the involuntary commitment to a mental health institution in California. Sponsored by the California Hospital Association (CHA), AB 1300 would have:

  • Begins the 72-hour detention period for evaluation and treatment at the time a person is initially detained, which reduces the time a person receives treatment for their mental health crisis.
  • Allows hospital emergency room physicians to release a person from a 5150 hold with several immunities protecting them from liability should the person commit harm to themselves or others.
  • Creates “county liaisons” who must provide assessments within 30 minutes of the person in crises arriving at the hospital, thereby increasing the workload and needed positions in the county due to potential geographic limitations.

CHA has shopped this bill over the past several years and while we acknowledge that persons can be waiting for long periods of time to receive treatment, we did not believe this bill proposes solutions to that problem and instead releases people without providing treatment. The problem in California is the limited number of psychiatric beds. Please keep in mind that over the course of several years, CHA has eliminated over 300 beds from their hospitals. 

AB 1300 is now a two-year bill and we look forward to working with the author and the sponsor to find viable solutions. 

Continuum of Care Reform

AB 403 (Stone) – Support in Concept
As Amended on April 21, 2015

Assembly Bill 403 is moving forward to the Assembly Floor. Authored by Senator Mark Stone and sponsored by the Department of Social Services (DSS), AB 403 reflects DSS’ attempt to reform the continuum of care for foster youth. In January, DSS released their Continuum of Care Report, which outlined a comprehensive approach to improving the experience and outcomes of children and youth in foster care. 

AB 403 would provide for the reclassification of treatment facilities and the transition from the use of group homes for children in foster care to the use of short-term residential treatment centers – defined in the amendments. AB 403 revises foster parent training requirements and provides for the development of Child-Family Teams to inform the process of placement and services to children. Additionally, the bill seeks to develop a new payment structure to fund placement options for children in foster care. 

Assisted Outpatient Treatment

AB 1193 (Eggman) – Oppose Unless Amended
As Amended on April 30, 2015

AB 1193, by Assembly Member Eggman, requires counties to hold a public hearing on Laura’s Law by January 1, 2018. The bill would also extend the Assisted Outpatient Treatment Demonstration Project Act of 2002 to January 1, 2022 from the current repeal date of January 1, 2017, which is something that CSAC supports. CSAC took an oppose unless amended position on AB 1193 which was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.


AB 193 (Maienschein) – Oppose
As Amended on May 28, 2015

AB 193, by Assembly Member Brian Maienschein, 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. 

The bill was amended to remove the requirement that the county officer providing the conservatorship investigation to petition the court and file a copy of their report within 30 days of the court’s recommendation. Despite the amends, CSAC remains opposed to AB 193, which was passed out of Assembly Appropriations Committee and will be voted on by the full Assembly Floor. 

Psychotropic Medications 

SB 238 (Mitchell) – Support
As Amended on April 7, 2015

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

  1. 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;
  2. 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;
  3. 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
  4. Training for child welfare social workers, foster children, caregivers and attorneys and Court-Appointed Special Advocates regarding psychotropic medications.

SB 238 was passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee with amendments, which we will report on next week.

Tobacco Bills

SB 24 (Hill) – Watch
As Amended on April 21, 2015

SB 24 by Senator Hill was moved off of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Suspense File and passed to the full Senate Floor with 6 ‘aye’ votes and 1 ‘no’ vote. SB 24 would: 1) extend the Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement Act (STAKE Act) to include the sale of electronic cigarettes to persons under age 21; 2) add electronic cigarettes to current smoke-free laws; 3) require cartridges and solutions for filling e-cigarettes to be in childproof packaging; and 4) require retailers to apply for a license from the Board of Equalization. 

SB 140 (Leno) –Support 
As Amended on April 14, 2015

SB 140 by Senator Leno would expand the STAKE Act’s definition of tobacco products to include electronic devises that deliver nicotine or vaporized liquids and make it illegal to furnish such products to minors. This bill was passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee with 5 ‘aye’ votes and 2 ‘no’ votes.

SB 151 (Hernandez) – Hold vote until the Senate Floor
As Introduced on January 29, 2015

SB 151, by Senator Hernandez would raise the age for restricted access to tobacco products from 18 to 21. SB 151 moved from the Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File to the Senate floor with a vote of 5 to 2. 

Other Bills on Suspense

Bill Number CSAC Position Action
SB 4 (Lara): Health Care Coverage for the Undocumented No Position Passed to the Senate Floor
SB 33 (Hernandez): Medi-Cal Estate Recovery Support Passed to the Senate Floor
SB 478 (Huff): Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Pilots Support Passed to Senate Floor
SB 614 (Leno): Medi-Cal Mental Health Peer Support Providers Support Passed to the Senate Floor
AB 430 (Hernandez): Trauma Care Systems Oppose Held on Suspense
AB 470 (Chu): IHSS Fingerprinting Support Passed to Assembly Floor
AB 690 (Wood): Medi-Cal FQHC Support Held on Suspense
AB 702 (Maienschein): CalWORKs Temporary Shelter Assistance Support Passed to Assembly Floor
AB 858 (Wood): Medi-Cal FQHC Support Passed to Assembly Floor

Moving to the Next House

In-Home Supportive Services

AB 1436 (Burke) – SUPPORT
As Amended on May 6, 2015

AB 1436 by Assembly Member Autumn Burke creates an authorized representative structure for the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Program – which enables adults and children who need help with daily living activities remain in their own home rather than being institutionalized. Other county-administered programs, including Medi-Cal, CalWORKs and CalFresh, have statutory or regulator procedures for applicants and recipients to designate an authorized representative to act on their behalf in signing up for the program, receiving services and participating in the appeal process. 

AB 1436 would create a statutory authority for an IHSS recipient or applicant to name an authorized representative, which would be completely optional to them.

AB 1436 sailed through the Assembly with no opposition and now awaits assignment in the Senate. 

Adult Protective Services

As Amended on May 19, 2015

Senate Bill 196, by Senator Hancock, would authorize a county adult protective services agency to file a petition for a protective order on behalf of elder or dependent adults if the adult has been identified as lacking the capacity and a conservatorship is being sought. Current law authorizes the following persons to seek an order: a conservator or trustee, an attorney-in-fact, a person appointed as a guardian ad litem, or other person legally authorized to seek the order. SB 196 seeks to add a county adult protective services agency as an authorized entity.

CSAC supports SB 196, sponsored by the County Welfare Director’s Association of California, which was passed by the Senate Floor with 38 aye votes and 1 abstention. It now awaits assignment in the Assembly.

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