CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services update 8/1/2014

General Assistance

AB 2311 (Bradford) – Oppose
As Amended on May 23, 2014

AB 2311, by Assembly Member Steven Bradford, would alter locally-established General Assistance (GA) eligibility to allow honorably discharged veterans to receive GA benefits for a longer period of time. 

Each county establishes GA benefit eligibility and award levels to best serve the needs of their communities. While counties strive to serve veteran populations, AB 2311 would increase county-funded benefits for a specific population and remove local authority to set GA levels that meets the needs of each community. 

CSAC, along with the Urban Counties Caucus and the Rural County Representatives of California, remain in opposition of AB 2311, which will be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 4.

Human Services

AB 2547 (Gaines) – Support
As Amended on May 15, 2014

AB 2547, by Assembly Member Beth Gaines, would allow Placer County to continue to operate their successful integrated, coordinated, and seamless approach to health and human services delivery in the County. 

Sponsored by the Placer County Board of Supervisors, AB 2547 makes the County’s Integrated Health and Human Services Pilot Program permanent. Operated in conjunction with the State, Placer County’s Integrated Health and Human Services Pilot Program serves as a model of family centered and needs-based delivery of services to children and families by providing blended education, mental health, probation, and child welfare services in a seamless team approach. In making this program permanent, the bill has been amended to remove obsolete evaluation and reporting requirements used in the prior pilot.

AB 2547 will be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 4.

Medi-Cal 

SB 1341 (Mitchell) – Support 
As Amended on May 6, 2014 

SB 1341, by Senator Holly Mitchell, would codify the existing agreement between the Administration, Covered California, and the counties regarding the respective roles of the State Automated Welfare System (SAWS) and the California Health Eligibility Enrollment and Retention System (CalHEERS). 

Specifically, SB 1341:

  • Specifies SAWS as the system of record for Medi-Cal and that SAWS shall contain all Medi-Cal eligibility rules and case management functionality. The bill permits the MAGI rules for Medi-Cal to continue to be housed in CalHEERS as they currently are; and,
  • Requires that Notices of Action (NOAs) for Medi-Cal be programmed into the Medi-Cal system of record: the SAWS systems.

CSAC continues to support SB 1341, which will be heard by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on August 6.

SB 1089 (Mitchell) – Support 
As Introduced on February 19, 2014

SB 1089, as amended by Senator Holly Mitchell, is sponsored by Los Angeles County and intended as a technical clean-up measure for AB 396 (Chapter 394, Statutes of 2011). AB 396 created a voluntary program that allows counties to draw down federal matching funds for the medical treatment of minors who are held in a juvenile justice facility and require hospitalization. SB 1089 seeks to clarify the county’s share of the costs and encourage the development of a claiming process.

SB 1089 will be heard by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on August 6.

Homeless Assistance

AB 1733 (Quirk-Silva, Maienschein, Atkins) – Support 
As Amended on June 26, 2014 

AB 1733, by Assembly Members Sharon Quirk-Silva, Brian Maienschein and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, allows a fee waiver for a homeless person to obtain a certified certificate of live birth from the county registrar or recorder or an identification card from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). 

CSAC supports AB 1733. As the service provider of last resort for indigent Californians, counties deal with the effects of homelessness across our systems, including health, human services and public safety. AB 1733 will facilitate access for homeless people to services that are critical to helping them move towards self-sufficiency. Government and non-governmental entities fund a variety of services that help ensure the health and safety of homeless and low-income people. However, eligibility must be established in order to access these services, which often requires proof of identity with a birth record or valid identification card. Providing these services to homeless persons reduce costs to government and society overall, but particularly counties.

AB 1733 is set to be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 4.

CalWORKs

AB 1654 (Bonilla) – Support
As Amended on June 24, 2014

AB 1654, by Assembly Member Susan Bonilla, would increase the amount of the child support pass through for those on CalWORKs aid from $50 for one child and $100 for a family with two or more children to $100 and $200 respectively. 

CSAC supports the measure, which will be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 4.

Emergency Medical Services

AB 1621 (Lowenthal) – Oppose
As Amended on June 24, 2014

AB 1621, by Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal, would create a State Emergency Medical Services Data and Information Systems (SEMSDIS), mandate the use of electronic patient care record systems, and require local EMS agencies to submit patient and system data to the EMS Authority.

CSAC and CHEAC are generally supportive of the concept of expanding the use of electronic emergency medical services data. However, this bill creates a costly regulatory mandate on counties and EMS providers. The cost of implementing an electronic patient care record system can be measured in the tens of thousands of dollars, and funds for this purpose are virtually nonexistent for most counties, most acutely in our rural counties.

For these reasons, CSAC has joined with CHEAC to oppose AB 1621. This measure will be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 4.

County Public Hospitals

AB 2546 (Salas) – Support
As Amended on June 26, 2014

AB 2546, by Assembly Member Rudy Salas, authorizes and provides a statutory framework for Kern County to form the Kern County Hospital Authority. The Hospital Authority positions Kern to evolve with the changing health care landscape and innovate to better serve its low-income residents.

CSAC supports AB 2546, which will be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 4.

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