Health and Human Services (other than Insurance)

Significant health and human services Senate legislation that were signed into law included: SB 7 (Oropeza) making it an infraction for a person to smoke in a vehicle in which there is a minor; SB 22 (Migden) improving breast-feeding rates among mothers and infants; SB 39 (Migden) increasing access to the records of children in the state that have been killed as a result of death or neglect from county welfare agencies; SB 84 (Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee) enacting the human services trailer bill to the 2007 State Budget; SB 94 (Kuehl) enacting a Medi-Cal rate increase for family planning clinical office visits billed under specified procedure codes; SB 102 (Migden) adding doctors of podiatry to provisions of the Gann Blood Safety Act and allowing specific health care professionals to provide patients with a summary of the positive and negative aspects of receiving a blood transfusion; SB 104 (Machado) extending the sunset on the law establishing crisis nurseries; SB 306 (Ducheny) amending the Alfred E. Alquist Hospital Facilities Seismic Safety Act to permit hospitals to delay compliance with the July 1, 2008 seismic retrofit deadline, and the 2013 extension, to the year 2020; SB 370 (Kuehl) ensuring quality care for Medi-Cal beneficiaries by clarifying Medi-Cal's authority to approve or disapprove transplant centers; SB 443 (Migden) allowing the use of sperm from a donor who has tested reactive for HIV of human T lymphotropic virus-1, for purposes of insemination or advanced reproductive technology if the donor is the spouse or partner of that recipient; SB 472 (Corbett) enacting the California Patient Medications Safety Act to provide a standardized prescription drug label on the prescription medicine dispensed in the state on or before January 1, 2011; SB 474 (Kuehl) revising the Medi-Cal Hospital/Uninsured Care Demonstration Project Act and establishes a South Los Angeles Medical Services Preservation Fund for the purpose of funding health services for the uninsured population of South Los Angeles; SB 490 (Alquist) prohibiting schools and school districts from making available through vending machines or school food establishments foods containing artificial trans fat, as defined, or from using food containing artificial trans fat in the preparation of a food item served to pupils enrolled in elementary or middle schools; SB 620 (Correa) making permanent the law allowing a physician and surgeon to administer general anesthesia to a dental patient in a dental office as long as the physician or surgeon has a valid permit; SB 624 (Padilla) increasing civil penalties under the Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement Act; SB 633 (Alquist) allowing a private hospital to post its hospital discharge planning policy and to provide specified patients with information relating to community-based long-term care options; SB 703 (Ducheny) conforming various state adoption and child welfare laws to federal law; SB 720 (Kuehl) encouraging the joint placement of infants and their teen parent when both are in foster care; SB 767 (Ridley-Thomas) conferring a conditional immunity from civil liability and criminal prosecution for persons who administer an opioid antagonist with reasonable care under the good faith belief that another person is experiencing a drug overdose; SB 785 (Steinberg) facilitating the access to mental health service for foster children who are placed outside of the original county of jurisdiction; SB 783 (Harman) ensuring that lifeguards and swimming instructors at public pools are currently certificated and qualified; SB 839 (Calderon) revising various fines and penalties for the possession and transportation of dangerous fireworks in order to reduce the illegal fireworks trade; SB 850 (Maldonado) enacting the Missing Angels Act allowing for the elective issuance of a certificate of stillbirth; SB 868 (Ridley-Thomas) requiring a public authority or nonprofit consortium investigating potential in-home supportive service personnel to get criminal history information; SB 898 (Simitian) extending, to 2013, the income tax checkoff for the State Children's Trust Fund for the Prevention of Child Abuse; SB 916 (Yee) addressing the problems arising when hospitals do not have the current capacity or capability to provide appropriate mental health treatment for the patient; SB 962 (Migden) requiring the Department of Public Health, as part of the Hereditary Disorders Act, to provide umbilical cord blood samples to the Birth Defect Monitoring Program, for storage and release; SB 966 (Simitian) requiring the Integrated Waste Management Board to identify and develop model programs for the safe disposal of household generated pharmaceutical waste; SB 1029 (Ducheny) establishing timeframes by which regulations relating to maximum contaminant levels for primary and secondary drinking water standards proposed by the Department of Public Health must be reviewed as part of the regulatory adoption process; and SB 1048 (Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee) making various changes to a number of medical agencies under the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Significant Assembly legislation that were signed into law included: AB 28 (Huffman) extending the sunset date for the California Breast Cancer Research Fund from January 1, 2008 to January 1, 2013, AB 34 (Portantino) requiring the Department of Public Health to establish the Umbilical Cord Blood Collection Program; AB 98 (Niello) providing that the state contribute half of the wage subsidy for subsidized employment programs operated by counties for California Work Opportunity and Responsibility for Kids participants; AB 106 (Berg) requiring a general acute care hospital to offer influenza and pneumonia immunizations prior to discharge to patients aged 65 years and older between October and April of each year; AB 110 (Laird) permitting a public entity that receives General Fund money for human immunodeficiency virus prevention and education from the Department of Public Health to use that money to support a clean needle and syringe exchange project; AB 176 (Jones) implementing child support program options and mandates contained in the federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005; AB 203 (Assembly Budget Committee) enacting the health trailer bill to the 2007 State Budget; AB 253 (Eng) reducing the membership of the Medical Board of California; AB 294 (Adams) requiring the Air Resources Board to study ambient air concentrations of manganese to determine where unhealthy concentrations may be in the state; AB 304 (Huff) requiring licensed community care facilities for the elderly to provide a copy of their disaster and mass casualty plan to fire, police, civil defense and disaster authorities in the area upon request; AB 329 (Nakanishi) requiring the Medical Board of California to establish a pilot program to expand the practice of telemedicine; AB 335 (De Leon) conforming the standard for verifying domestic violence for purposes of the CalWORKS Homeless Assistance Program to the Family Violence Option contained in the federal welfare reform law and adopted by the state when it created the CalWORKS program; AB 340 (Hancock) creating the Unified Resource Family Approvals Pilot Project; AB 629 (Brownley) enacting the Sexual Heath Education Accountability Act; AB 632 (Salas) expanding to members of health facility medical staffs, whistleblower protections currently provided to patients, employees, and others in health facility settings; AB 682 (Berg) revising the written and informed consent standards associated with testing blood for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), including prenatal HIV testing, to no longer require affirmative approval prior to administering an HIV test; AB 752 (Dymally) setting forth a distribution methodology for stabilization funding that may be available in 2007-08 and subsequent project years for designated public hospitals pursuant to the Medi-Cal Hospital/Uninsured Care Demonstration Project Act; AB 836 (Bass) increasing access to the federal Earned Income Tax Credit by including information regarding its availability in the warrants paid to in-home supportive service workers during the period when income tax returns are prepared; AB 915 (Hernandez) requiring the Department of Health Care Services to approve the use of nonmonetary incentives by Medi-Cal managed care plans for the plan's Medi-Cal enrollees, in the absence of other countervailing considerations, as specified; AB 949 (Krekorian) establishing procedures to be followed by a residential care facility for the elderly prior to transferring a resident to another facility or living arrangement as a result of forfeiture of a license or change in the use of the facility; AB 1078 (Lieber) adopting several measures to promote earnings and assets of CalWORKS recipients, including maximum use of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, exclusion of specified retirement accounts as assets for applicants and added information for participants in grant-based on-the-job training programs; AB 1108 (Ma) prohibiting the use of phthalates in toys and childcare products designed for babies and children under three years of age; AB 1178 (Hernandez) creating a permissive exception to the California Confidentiality of Medical Information to allow psychotherapists to disclose confidential information in order to protect a reasonably foreseeable victim from a threatened violence; AB 1224 (Hernandez) allowing optometrists to practice telemedicine; AB 1226 (Hayashi) permitting a Medi-Cal physician provider in an individual physician practice to change locations within the same county by filing a change of location form, and extending the time for a Medi-Cal provider applicant to resubmit an incomplete application package; AB 1323 (DeSaulnier) expanding the types of tuberculosis testing that may be used to screen for or to report cases of active tuberculosis; AB 1331 (Evans) requiring counties to screen potentially disabled emancipated foster youth to determine their potential eligibility for federal Supplemental Security Income disability benefits; AB 1410 (Feuer) requiring the Department of Health Care Services to submit a home- and community-based federal Medicaid waiver application or state plan amendment, by March 15, 2009, to serve at least 100 adults with acquired traumatic brain injuries; AB 1453 (Soto) directing the Department of Social Services to develop a plan to reconfigure the current statewide system of group homes into a system of residentially based services and authorizing counties to enter into agreements to transform individual group home programs; AB 1512 (Torrico) requiring expedited disenrollment of a foster child from a County Organized Health System, when that child has received out-of-county placement, to allow the child to be enrolled in Medi-Cal fee-for-service or managed care in the county where the child has been placed; AB 1585 (Lieber) including gift certificates, gift cards, or other similar offers, coupon or coupon offers, in the definition of nonsale distribution, or giving away at no or nominal cost, of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco, which is prohibited in public places by anyone in the business of selling or distributing smokeless tobacco or cigarettes; and AB 1687 (Brownley) permitting health care providers to disclose medical information to a county social worker, a probation officer, or any other legal custodian or caregiver to a minor, as defined, to coordinate health care services and medical treatment for the minor.

Significant health and human services Senate legislation that were vetoed included: SB 93 (Corbett) prohibiting the amount paid by Medi-Cal from being considered as evidence of past medical damages or for the purpose of reducing a third party's liability to the beneficiary in any third-party action; SB 171 (Perata) requiring a general acute care hospital to establish a patient protection and health care worker back injury prevention plan that includes identifying patients needing lift teams and lift, repositioning, or transfer devices; SB 260 (Steinberg) allowing federally qualified health centers to be reimbursed by Medi-Cal for multiple visits by a patient with a single or different health care professional on the same day at a single location; SB 275 (Cedillo) prohibiting a hospital from causing a patient to be transported to a location other than the residence of the patient without the patient's written consent, except when the patient is lawfully transferred to another facility; SB 534 (Perata) creating a Dental Hygiene Committee of California, extending the sunset date for the Dental Board of California from July 1, 2008, to July 1, 2011, and abolishing the Committee on Dental Auxiliaries and transferring its authority to the Dental Board of California; SB 615 (Oropeza) establishing the California Pharmacy Technician Scholarship and Loan Repayment Program to provide scholarships to pay for the educational expenses of pharmacy technician students and for qualified educational loans to pharmacy technicians who agree to work in designated medically underserved areas; SB 764 (Migden) requiring the Medical Board of California and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California to provide physician information to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development; SB 801 (Ridley-Thomas) placing a legislative proposition on the statewide ballot for approval by the voters to amend the Chiropractic Initiative Act of California to bring the Board of Chiropractic Examiners under the Department of Consumer Affairs; SB 945 (Padilla) permitting an applicant or recipient of in-home supportive services to authorize any person, including a family member or provider, to receive a copy of the notice of action affecting the amount of services to be provided and to request a hearing to challenge any proposed action; AB 81 (Torrico) expanding the "Safe-Surrender Law" to allow a parent or other person with lawful custody of a child seven days old or younger to be surrendered to safe-surrender sites, as specified; AB 149 (Bass) requiring the Department of Social Services to enter into a contract for technology to assist counties in searching for relatives to serve as caretakers for foster children and youth; AB 182 (Ma) requiring that each public authority and nonprofit consortium providing for the delivery of in-home supportive services develop standards and core topics to be used in training of providers and recipients; AB 277 (Soto) specifying requirements for foster caregiver training programs and for needs and foster children's needs and services plans; AB 314 (Soto) permitting study time hours related to vocational training and education to count as a core welfare-to-work activity in the CalWORKS program; AB 398 (Feuer) requiring the Department of Public Health to establish and maintain an online consumer inquiry system to provide specified information to the public regarding long-term care facilities; AB 399 (Feuer) enhancing the complaint and investigation of abuse and neglect in nursing homes; AB 508 (Swanson) repealing the lifetime disqualification from food stamps for persons convicted of specified felonies involving controlled substances; AB 543 (Plescia) requiring surgical clinics to meet specified operating and staffing standards, including compliance with Medicare conditions of participation; AB 741 (Bass) requiring the Department of Public Health to develop a demonstration program to provide interpregnancy care for three years to women who have previously delivered a very low birth weight stillborn or live infant between April 2007 and July 2007; AB 834 (Hayashi) encouraging the renewal or amendment of local dental contracts to maximize the number of children served and to improve community dental disease prevention programs; AB 941 (Torrico) revising the disciplinary authority of local emergency medical services agencies with regard to emergency medical technicians; AB 979 (Price) requiring the Department of Social Services to seek federal funding for all aspects of the in-home supportive services program, including training for providers of services; AB 1113 (Brownley) repealing the sunset date for the Medi-Cal program for the California Working Disabled Program and making specified changes in the eligibility criteria; AB 1142 (Salas) requiring the Department of Public Health to select and distribute end-of-life and palliative care model programs to nursing home and residential care for the elderly facilities; AB 1192 (Evans) requiring regional centers and community care facilities to report evidence of abuse of persons with developmental disabilities by a provider of services to a department designated by the Health and Human Services Agency which must develop a registry to maintain substantiated histories of abuse; AB 1328 (Hayashi) deleting the current six-month residency requirement for eligibility for the Access for Infants and Mothers program; AB 1339 (Torrico) requiring the Office of Problem and Pathological Gambling within the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs to develop a statewide strategic plan for the prevention, intervention, treatment, and research of problem and pathological gambling in California; AB 1382 (Leno) eliminating the requirement that applicants for and recipients of food stamp benefits not receiving general assistance be fingerprint imaged as a condition of receiving benefits; AB 1427 (Krekorian) creating a developmental services training pilot program for participating agencies to improve the use of recognized training resources for direct support workers in consumer-directed developmental services; AB 1521 (Salas) requiring that each bottle of water sold in the state identify the source of its contents; AB 1617 (DeSaulnier) prohibiting transportation of cigarettes to persons in California except when such shipments are made either to an entity that is licensed by the Board of Equalization for tobacco transactions or to certain other specified entities, and broadens the definition of bidis, a prohibited tobacco product; AB 1669 (Leno) requiring the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board to administer a program and award grants up to $3 million per year from Restitution Fund monies for trauma centers, as specified; and AB 1674 (Richardson) authorizing five county pilot projects to offer recipients of in-home supportive services a choice of having services provided by a contracting agency or a public authority.

Major issues which probably will be of concern in the 2008 part of the two-year session will be making sure Californians are being protected from foodborne disease which became a problem with E-coli breakout in the leafy vegetable crops in late 2006 and led to Senator Dean Florez introducing SB 200, 201, and 203 which are presently in the Assembly Agriculture Committee; making sure that Californians are nutritionally knowledgeable especially regarding trans fat; and the California Compassionate Choices Act (AB 374) which is modeled after the Oregon Death with Dignity Law.