CSAC Bulletin Article

Progress on Two CSAC-Opposed Bills

August 29, 2019

As we near the end of the 2019 legislative year, CSAC continues to engage with several bill authors and sponsors to advocate for the best outcomes for counties. CSAC was successful in negotiating amendments on the two below bills that will allow us to remove our opposition.

AB 1403, authored by Assembly Member Wendy Carrillo, would have required counties to alter their locally-established General Assistance (GA) or General Relief (GR) eligibility levels to provide additional county-funded assistance to certain parents who are no longer eligible for the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids program.

Working with county affiliates, the author’s office, and the sponsors, we were able to successfully negotiate language that will be amended into the bill and removes our opposition. The agreed upon language addresses the county fiscal concerns, which continued to linger after the July 11 amendments. Specifically, the language will make this expansion of GA/GR to the defined target individuals, contingent on an appropriation in the budget, and require consultation with counties on the appropriate amount of funding. These amendments represent a positive outcome for this bill that recognizes that an expansion of GA benefits needs to be accompanied by a funding source and prioritized in the annual state budget negotiations.

AB 1642, authored by Assembly Member Jim Wood, would expand the authority for Department of Health Care Services to impose sanctions on health plans including county-administered mental health plans, while eliminating due process provisions in current law. CSAC submitted a letter to the Legislature requesting amendments that will enhance transparency and reflect the principles of due process. The proposed amendments have addressed those concerns by requiring network adequacy standards to be established in statute or in contracts, and by aligning the sanction appeal process for mental health plans with current regulations. CSAC will submit a letter changing our “oppose unless amended” to a neutral position when amendments are in print.

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