New Laws Impacting Counties: Health and Human Services
November 14, 2019
Governor Newsom signed 870 bills into law this year. To keep counties informed of new laws that impact them, CSAC will be publishing a series of articles to spotlight those laws in each policy area. This week, the Health and Human Services policy area provides information on new laws affecting foster care, health, homelessness, and more. Stay tuned for more updates from other policy areas over the next several weeks.
The new laws listed below become effective January 1, 2020 unless otherwise noted.
Budget Bill – Multiple Human Services Issues
SB 80 (Budget Committee) Human Services Omnibus. SB 80 contains the statutory changes needed to enact many of the major human services provisions that were included in the 2019-20 Budget Act. This measure revises the County In-Home Supportive Services Maintenance of Effort, requires the state to consult with counties and other stakeholders to establish a local child support agency funding methodology, increases the maximum aid payment for CalWORKs, makes the CalWORKs Home Visiting program permanent, increases the CalWORKs earned income disregard and income reporting threshold, expands the CalWORKs Stage One Childcare from six months to twelve months, increases the CalWORKs asset limits, establishes the Family Urgent Response System, continues to provide emergency assistance payments to caregivers who are caring for children while awaiting approval as a resource family, and holds harmless families impacted by ending California’s policy that prohibited SSI/SSP recipients from receiving CalFresh benefits. This bill is currently in effect.
Emergency Medical Services
SB 438 (Hertzberg) Emergency medical services: dispatch. SB 438 restricts future contracting with a private entity for secondary medical 9-1-1 dispatch services unless all public agencies involved in emergency medical services consent to a different model. The bill preserves the medical control authority of county Local Emergency Medical Service Agencies.
SB 303 (Wieckowski) Guardians and conservators: residence of conservatee. This measure loosens the evidence standard for a conservator to be granted authority to remove a conservatee from their personal residence from a preponderance of the evidence to a clear and convincing standard of evidence. Additionally, the bill will prohibit compensation for attorney, conservator, or guardian fees from public benefits, unless the court deems it necessary to continue to support the conservatee or ward.
AB 262 (Gloria) Local health officers: communicable diseases. In the event of a communicable disease outbreak or imminent threat of an outbreak, this bill requires a local health officer to notify and update governmental entities within the local health department’s jurisdiction, and provide relevant information to those government entities. The measure also allows for the local health officer to issue orders to the government entities, within the jurisdiction, for actions crucial to minimize the transmission of the disease.
AB 1088 (Wood) Medi-Cal: eligibility. This bill requires the California Department of Health Care Services to apply for a waiver or state plan amendment to implement an income disregard, which would allow an aged, blind, or disabled individual to remain on Medi-Cal without a share-of-cost if the individual’s eligibility would continue if not for the state buy-in of their Medicare Part B premiums.
SB 276 (Pan) Immunizations: medical exemptions. This bill originally required the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to more closely monitor vaccine medical exemptions by individual physicians to reduce “exemption shopping” by parents and guardians. In its final form, SB 276 requires CDPH to develop a standardized immunization medical exemption request form that will be submitted directly to CDPH through the statewide database system. This bill also requires CDPH to create a standardized system to monitor immunization levels in schools and institutions, and to monitor patterns of unusually high exemption form submissions by a particular physician. Additionally, the bill states the standardized form is the only form that can be accepted by a governing body. The implementation date for this requirement is January 1, 2021.
SB 389 (Hertzberg) Mental Health Services Act. This bill permits counties to use Mental Health Services Act funding for individuals who in presentencing or postsentencing diversion programs, on parole, probation, post-release community supervision, or mandatory supervision.
In-Home Supportive Services
AB 426 (Maienschein) In-Home Supportive Services program. This bill would prohibit an individual from being charged by a licensed health care professional for the completion of the IHSS medical certification form.
AB 728 (Santiago) Homeless multidisciplinary teams. This measure expands the current authority of county homeless adult and family multidisciplinary personnel teams (MDT) in seven counties to allow for data sharing regarding individuals who are at risk of homelessness, and expands who can be included on the MDT.
AB 761 (Nazarian) State Armories: homeless shelters. This bill will grant the Adjutant General the authority to authorize the use of a vacant state armory to a county, where the armory is located, to be used for a temporary shelter year round. The previous code only allowed counties to use state armories six months per calendar year.
AB 175 (Gipson) Foster care: rights. This bill expands the personal rights of foster care children and youth, and the duties of the Office of the State Foster Care Ombudsperson.
AB 718 (Eggman) Dependent children: documents. This bill requires county child welfare departments to verify at certain points that specific documents, information and services were provided to foster youth.
AB 865 (Reyes) Resource families: training. This measure requires counties to provide commercial sexual exploitation of children training for resource family applicants who will care for children who are ten years or older. The training must be completed within 12 months of the resource family approval. Implementation for this statue will be delayed until January 1, 2021.
AB 1301 (Cooley) Child welfare: adoption. This bill will transfer the administration of the Private Adoption Agency Reimbursement Program (PAARP) from the California Department of Social Services to county child welfare departments. Funding will be provided to counties to reimburse PAARP expenses and allow counties more flexibility for the use of funds.
AB 494 (Berman) CalFresh: eligibility: shelter expense deductions. This bill would prohibit a county human services agency from requesting additional shelter costs verification, except when the reported shelter costs are questionable, once the applicant or recipient has reported their shelter costs on the CalFresh application or semiannual report. This bill was an urgency statute chaptered July 12, 2019 and went into immediate effect.
AB 1377 (Wicks) CalFresh. This bill requires the California Department of Social Services, the Department of Health Care Services, the Department of Education, and stakeholders to examine ways to increase enrollment for free and reduced meals program participants into the CalFresh nutrition benefit program.
SB 490 (Hurtado) CalFresh: benefit overissuance. This bill will prohibit the collection of a CalFresh administrative error or inadvertent household error that is less than $400 dollars. This bill will only apply to CalFresh households who are no longer receiving CalFresh benefits.
SB 228 (Jackson) Master Plan on Aging. This bill requires the Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency to coordinate with the Director of the Department of Aging to lead the implementation process for the Master Plan for Aging established by Executive Order N-14-19 and identify policy changes needed to prepare for California’s aging population. The Master Plan for Aging Stakeholder Advisory Committee includes representatives from a wide range of systems including local government.