Health and Human Services End-of-Session Bill Roundup
September 16, 2021
CSAC is awaiting the Governor’s action on a number of bills that fall under the health and human services policy area and will keep counties updated on the outcome of these measures. CSAC is requesting the Governor’s signature on several of these measures. Please see the list provided below.
AB 226 (Ramos) – Children’s crisis
psychiatric residential treatment facilities
CSAC supports AB 226 that would reclassify existing children’s crisis residential programs in the state as children’s crisis psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTFs) and transfer responsibility for licensing PRTFs from the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). This technical designation is intended to increase the number of PRTFs operating in the state to provide non-hospital step-down care to children in crisis. AB 226 would also allow counites to access federal reimbursement for room and board costs at PRTFs. CSAC supports AB 226, which was passed by the Legislature on September 10.
AB 636 (Maienschein) – Protecting
elder and dependent adults from abuse
CSAC supports AB 636 that would allow Adult Protective Services (APS) programs to share information with additional entities to help prevent and investigate instances of elder abuse. AB 636 would explicitly allow APS programs to share information with a federal law enforcement agency and local code enforcement agencies under certain circumstances to help investigate instances of abuse and protect the health and safety of elder and dependent adults. The bill would strengthen the APS program so that counties can effectively respond to the increased and complex reports of abuse for this growing population. The Legislature approved AB 636, which now awaits action by the Governor.
AB 640 (Cooley) – Extended Foster
Care eligibility redetermination
CSAC supports AB 640 that would allow counties to establish federal Title IV-E eligibility for many youth who do not currently meet that eligibility as they enter Extended Foster Care. This bill is sponsored by the County Welfare Directors Association and would provide some needed fiscal relief for counties for the Extended Foster Care program, which has not been fully funded as intended when the program was established. The Extended Foster Care program has led to improved outcomes for foster youth up to age 21 and this eligibility redetermination would bring in additional federal resources and be done without any interruption in services or supports to these youth. The Legislature approved AB 640, which now awaits action by the Governor.
SB 395 (Caballero) –
Excise tax: electronic cigarettes: Health Careers
Opportunity Grant Program: Small and Rural Hospital Relief
CSAC supports AB 395 which would impose an additional excise tax on all electronic cigarette products sold in the state. Portions of the new funding will support local county First 5 Commissions and local health jurisdictions. Additionally, the bill establishes the Health Careers Opportunity Grant Program to support access by underrepresented students from disadvantaged backgrounds to postsecondary health profession programs. CSAC supports SB 395 because it provides an opportunity to reduce the consumption of electronic cigarette products while funding public health, early childhood development programs, and health professions in California. The Senate enrolled SB 395 on September 9.
AB 451 (Arambula) – Health care
facilities: treatment of psychiatric emergency medical
CSAC dropped opposition of AB 451 after Assemblymember Arambula addressed county concerns and removed county-owned and operated facilities from the bill.AB 451 would require a psychiatric unit within a general acute care hospital, an acute psychiatric hospital, and a psychiatric health facility (PHF) to treat any patients who presents with an emergency psychiatric condition, regardless of whether the facility has an emergency department. The bill was approved by the Assembly and enrolled on September 8. CSAC is neutral on AB 451.