Bills Supported in the 2013-2014 Legislative Session:
ABx1 1 – Medi-Cal Eligibility – CHAPTERED
This bill, introduced by Assemblymember John Perez, would expand Medi-Cal eligibility to low-income, childless adults and simplify Medi-Cal eligibility rules as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Additionally, ABx1 1 would make several changes to the Medi-Cal’s eligibility rules, conforming to the ACA and decreasing administrative barriers.
ABx1 2 – Health Care Coverage – CHAPTERED
This bill, introduced by Assemblymember Richard Pan, prohibits insurers to charge more based on health status, and limit how much more insurers can charge based on age, geography, and family composition.
AB 411 – Improving Quality of Care and Reducing Disparities in Medi-Cal Managed Care – VETOED
This bill, introduced by Assemblymember Richard Pan, requires Medi-Cal managed care plans to analyze their quality measures by race, ethnicity, and primary language to identify and develop strategies to address health disparities. This analysis would help help plans better understand the specific needs of their members, and allow them to develop culturally and linguistically appropriate interventions.
AB 422 – Health Care Applications – CHAPTERED
This bill, introduced by Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, would require that pupils eligible for free meals be sent notices about free or reduced-cost health coverage through Medi-Cal or the California Health Benefit Exchange.
AB 420 – Disruption and Defiance: Reducing Grounds for Harsh Discipline – CHAPTERED
This bill, introduced by Assemblymember Roger Dickinson limits the use of subdivision (k) of Section 48900 which currently provides for the suspension or expulsion of any student who has “disrupted school activities or otherwise willfully defied the valid authority” of school personnel. Instead, AB 420 encourages the use of other means of correction as the preferred remedy for acts of disruption and defiance. It further narrows the application of this section by making willful defiance a suspendable offense only for 6-12 grade students and prohibits expulsion for a willful defiance offense.
AB 549 – Comprehensive School Safety Plans – CHAPTERED
This bill, authored by Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer, encourages schools to include in school safety plans, when plans are reviewed and updated, guidelines for the roles and responsibilities of mental health and intervention professionals, school resource officers, and police officers on the school campus.
AB 689 – Health Facilities: Influenza and Pneumococcal Disease – HELD
This bill, introduced by Assemblymember Robert Bonta, would require each general acute care hospital annually, beginning no later than October 1 and ending on the following April 1, except when there is a national vaccine shortage, to offer onsite vaccinations for influenza and pneumococcal disease to all patients at discharge, pursuant to the procedures of the hospital and in accordance with the recommendations of the advisory committee on immunization practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Existing law requires an offering of influenza vaccinations to general acute care hospital patients aged 65 years or older.
AB 760 – Reinstating California’s Early Mental Health Initiative – HELD
This bill, introduced by Assemblymember Roger Dickinson, aims to help young children who suffer from mild to moderate mental illness and social adjustment problems by reinstating the Early Mental Health Initiative (EMHI) program which provided matching grants to public schools. CSHC made a specific request that legislators also consider using the tax to fund school-based mental health services for students beyond third grade – and particularly for those students whose lives have been impacted by violence and trauma.
AB 836 – Dentists: Continuing Education – CHAPTERED
This bill, introduced by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, proposes to reduce barriers to retired dentists who provide volunteer care by reducing the continuing education requirements from 50 hours to 30 hours.
AB 1174 – Virtual Dental Homes – HELD
AB 1174, introduced by Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra, expands the use of Virtual Dental Homes by allowing Registered Dental Hygienists and Registered Dental Assistants to decide which dental x-rays to take when examining patients, allowing Registered Dental Hygienists and Extended Function Dental Assistants to place interim therapeutic restorations and requiring Medi-Cal to reimburse dentists for providing store-and-forward teledentistry.
AB 1866 – Absenteeism – VETOED
This bill, introduced by Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra, requires the periodic reports to local educational agencies to include reports on the rates of absence, rates of chronic absenteeism, rates of truancy, rates of habitual truancy, and rates of chronic truancy.
AB 2382 – CalWorks: Eligibility, Truancy – CHAPTERED
Existing federal law provides for allocation of federal funds through the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant program to eligible states, with California’s version of this program being known as the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program. This bill, introduced by Assemblymember Steven Bradford, would revise these requirements by, among other things, deleting the requirement that the aid grant of a family be reduced if the county determines that an eligible child under 16 years of age is not regularly attending school. The bill would require that if the county determines that a child who is 16 years of age or older is not regularly attending school or participating in a welfare-to-work plan, the county inform the family of hot to enroll the child in community day school or continuation school.
ACR 30 – Pupil Rights: Student and Youth Bill of Rights – CHAPTERED
ACR 30, introduced by Assemblymember V. Manuel Perez, declares that the Legislature recognizes the importance of engaging with young people to influence decisions that affect their quality of life and well-being, and that the Student and Youth Bill of Rights serves as a framework to guide and inform the youth of the state in organizing and advocating policy issues on their own behalf.
SBx1 1 – Medi-Cal Eligibility – CHAPTERED
This bill, introduced by Senator Ed Hernandez, would expand Medi-Cal eligibility to low-income, childless adults and simplify Medi-Cal eligibility rules as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Additionally, ABx1 1 would make several changes to the Medi-Cal’s eligibility rules, conforming to the ACA and decreasing administrative barriers.
SBx1 2 – Health Care Coverage – CHAPTERED
This bill, introduced by Senator Ed Hernandez, prohibits insurers to charge more based on health status, and limit how much more insurers can charge based on age, geography, and family composition.
SB 22 – Mental Health Compliance Act of 2013 – HELD
This bill, introduced by Senator Jim Beall, requires health plans and insurers to submit an annual report to state regulators certifying compliance with state and federal mental health parity laws.
SB 61 – Limit Solitary Confinement – INACTIVE
This bill, introduced by Senator Leland Yee, will severely limit the use of solitary confinement for youth in county and state custody. Solitary confinement has led to increases in suicide, PTSD, mental illness, violence, and recidivism among youth.
SB 138 – The Confidential Health Information Act – CHAPTERED
This bill, introduced by Senator Ed Hernandez, seeks to close loopholes and clarify definitions in existing state and federal laws and regulations to protect the personal and sensitive health information of individuals covered under another person’s health insurance policy.
SB 330 – Comprehensive Health Education Plans: Mental Health Instruction – CHAPTERED
This bill, introduced by Senator Alex Padilla, would improve the educational framework for teaching California K-12 public school students about mental health. Specifically, the bill would require the State Board of Education and the Instructional Quality Commission to create a distinct category for mental health instruction in the health framework, so students attain appropriate knowledge about mental health.
SB 622 – Sweetened Beverage Tax – HELD
This bill, introduced by Senator William Monning, proposes a penny ($0.01) per ounce excise tax on the distribution of sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas, that contain added caloric sweeteners. The funds generated will go to create a Children’s Health Promotion Fund and allocated to childhood obesity prevention activities and programs throughout the state
S 150 – Assault Weapons Ban on 2013
The legislation, introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein, bans dangerous military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of holding more than 10 rounds. The legislation includes a bipartisan amendment that Senator Feinstein supported to study the effects of other factors on the recent proliferation of mass shootings in America.
Bills Opposed in the 2013-2014 Legislative Session
SB 430 – Pupil Health: Vision Appraisal: Binocular Function – HELD
SB 430 would add mandated binocular screening to the vision assessment of school-age children. The intention of this screening is to address learning disabilities through identification of vision issues that can be treated through vision therapy. CSHC is opposing this bill as there is a significant amount of controversy surrounding the claims that vision therapy can help poor readers and address or prevent learning disabilities.