Today marks a milestone for legislation in Sacramento. All bills must be heard and passed out of policy committees to continue on for the year. ACHD & ALPHA Fund’s Advocacy Team has spent countless hours in committee hearings for the past few weeks.
Here are a few bills of importance that will be moving forward:
- AB 194 (Campos) ACHD Opposed: Changes the Brown Act provisions pertaining to public comment and public criticism at regular and special meetings of local legislative bodies. This bill will be substantially amended in the coming weeks to create a fair and balanced approach to public comment.
- AB 1838 (Bonilla) ACHD Supported: Allows graduates of accelerated medical school programs accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools to seek and be granted a license to practice by the Medical Board of California.
- AB 2040 (Garcia) ACHD Neutral: Requires local agencies to post on their website compensation, insurance benefits, and reimbursements for each employee by name and position title. This bill was amended yesterday to allow local agencies to post a link to the State Controller’s existing website to ensure compliance with the bill.
- AB 2198 (Levine) ACHD Supported: Requires a mental health professional, which includes a psychologist, marriage and family therapist, or clinical social worker, to complete a training program in suicide assessment, treatment, and management that is administered by the relevant board or other state entity responsible for the licensure and regulation of the mental health professional.
- AB 2232 (Gray) ACHD Supported: Appropriates $1,000,000 from the General Fund to the Regents of the University of California to support a two-year planning effort geared towards the establishment of a separate traditional medical school at the University of California, Merced. Additionally, appropriates $1,855,000 in 2015-16 from the General Fund to the University of California regents each year, to support expansion of the San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education.
- AB 2616 (Skinner) ACHD & ALPHA Fund Opposed: Creates a presumption for specified hospital employees with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) claims.
- SB 1299 (Padilla) ACHD Opposed: Requires the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board to adopt new regulations pertaining to hospital workplace violence plans. ACHD is working with the California Hospital Association on possible amendments to improve the language in this bill.
The Legislature begins summer Recess upon adjournment of session on July 3. Sacramento will be relatively quiet over the following four weeks. From now until August 4th, California’s Legislators will be conducting their work in their district offices, leaving the Capitol halls more empty than usual. However, work will still be done, as both capitol staff and the capitol community prepare for the return of Legislators, and for committee hearings to resume. The Legislature only has 4 weeks after their return to send all legislation to the Governor for his consideration. As this is the second year of the session, all action of bills is final upon adjournment on August 31.
The Advocacy Team will utilize the summer recess to prepare for the final stretch of the Legislative Session. From updating our letters, communicating with capitol staff regarding legislative measures and meeting with coalition members, we will keep a close eye on things as we near the end of the Legislative Session.