CSAC Bulletin Article

HHS Bills Move to Governor as End of Session Approaches

August 25, 2016

Things are picking up speed in the Legislature as the end of session approaches. Several health and human services bills that CSAC has been actively monitoring are either in the final stages of legislative approval or headed to the governor’s desk this week:

AB 59, by Assembly Member Marie Waldron, would extend the Laura’s Law sunset date by five years, from 2017 to 2022. CSAC and the Urban Counties of California both support this version of the bill, which was sent to the Governor’s desk on August 24.  

SB 1212, by Senator Ben Hueso, would authorize the California Public Utilities Commission to spend up to $1,500,000 to facilitate expansion of 2-1-1 services into counties that currently do not have 2-1-1 services. CSAC supports this measure, which is currently on the Senate Floor awaiting a concurrence vote.

AB 1299, by Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, passed off of the Senate Floor and returned to the Assembly for a vote on the amendments made to the bill in the Senate. CSAC supports the bill as amended, after nearly two years of working closely with the author and sponsors to arrive at a policy solution that will ensure timely mental health services for foster or probation youth with little or no state costs. CSAC will support AB 1299 if it is sent to the Governor as expected.

AB 2448, by Assembly Member Autumn Burke, would reduce barriers to high school graduation for CalWORKs participants by targeting enrollees who need more than six months to achieve high school equivalency by stopping their time clocks for up to 12 months. CSAC supports this bill, which has been sent to the Governor’s desk.

AB 1628, the budget trailer bill that contains financing portion of the new No Place Like Home Program, is headed to the Governor’s desk. The bill, which was approved by the Senate and Assembly, outlines the path for diverting Mental Health Services Act funds to finance and repay up to $2 billion in bonds. The proceeds from those bonds will be available to counties for building or refurbishing permanent supportive housing units for those who are chronically homeless and living with mental illness.

SB 947, by Senator Richard Pan, would work to modernize the CalWORKs application and ensure a more efficient process for families in need of CalWORKs systems by allowing county human services agency or state hospital staff to conduct the required personal eligibility interview via telephone or electronically. CSAC supports this bill, which would bring CalWORKs in line with both CalFresh and Medi-Cal, both of which provide the option of telephone interviews. SB 947 next heads to the Governor’s desk.

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