Health and Safety

The 2007 Digest of Legislation publication by the Office of Senate Floor Analysis included a historical timeline and perspective on what has become the major issue in health and that is health insurance reform. Attempts were made at the end of 2007 and into 2008 to put in place a health insurance system in which most Californians would have been covered under. However, these attempts were unsuccessful and the issue will be one of concern in 2009. President-elect Obama has made it one of his goals to achieve a national health insurance system. The following transpired between August 2007 and into 2008: On 9/11/08, the Governor called a special session of the Legislature to consider and act upon legislation to comprehensively reform California’s health care system that relies on shared financing and contributions from individuals, employers, health providers, federal, state, and local governments, and others. In December 2007, the Assembly passed AB 1X which was a compromise between the Governor and the Speaker of the Assembly Fabian Nunez. Titled the Health Care Security and Cost Reduction Act, AB 1X (1) required that all Californians take responsibility for their health coverage, (2) guaranteed that everyone who wants to buy insurance can get it, (3) spread responsibility across individuals, government, hospitals, and employers, (4) made coverage more affordable for individuals and families through tax credits and subsidies, (5) helped keep hospitals and emergency rooms open by increasing Medi-Cal reimbursement rates, and (6) allowed individuals to choose their health coverage and keep their current insurance. On January 23, 2008, the Senate Health Committee, held a 10-1/2 hour hearing on AB 1X. At this meeting, a Legislative Analyst report revealed major flaws in the funding assumptions contained in the bill. On Monday, January 28th, the Committee voted to hold the bill in Committee. Several members indicated they could not vote for the bill as written because it did nothing to protect working class and middle class people from being burdened, to the point of breaking, by the individual mandate that requires each Californian to buy health insurance without adequate protection against unaffordable premiums and escalating out-of-pocket expenses. Senator Steinberg stated that after seeing the report for the Legislative Analyst, that the bill’s proposed revenues and expenses do not balance out and will leave the state exposed to increasing deficit costs. With the defeat of AB 1X, the only major piece of legislation in play was SB 840 (Kuehl) which would have created the California Healthcare System, a single payer care system to be administered by the California Healthcare Agency, to provide health insurance overage to all California residents. SB 840 would have provided every Californian the right to choose his/her own physician and would have controlled health cost inflation. However, the Governor vetoed the bill based on the cost of implementation of the bill which he felt would create more deficits to future budgets.

One piece of major legislation relative to health and safety that was signed into law was SB 1420 (Padilla) relating to food facilities to provide nutritional information for items on their menus. Over the year, various health groups such as the American heart Association and American Cancer Society have been concerned about the increase in obesity that has occurred in society.

In September 2006, the Department of Public Health Services released the California Obesity Prevention Plan to serve as a guide for each sector of society to take part in creating the shift to healthy eating and active living. The Plan recommended posting calorie information per serving on all menus and menu boards at restaurants and encourages healthy food options on all menus.

Last year, Senator Padilla authored SB 120 which would have required restaurant chains with at least 14 branches (including franchises) to make specified nutrition information available for all standard menu items. However, the Governor vetoed the bill because he believed it would place burdens and costs upon some restaurant owners while imposing no burdens or costs on others. And, it provided restaurants with little flexibility for how they provide consumers with nutritional information. Senator Padilla worked with the Governor’s Administration during the interim in 2007, and into 2008, to craft compromise language which was contained in SB 1420. SB 1420 requires restaurant chains with 19 or more locations to post calorie information on their menus and indoor menu boards by 1/1/11. And, beginning in 7/1/09, brochures containing either calorie content information or other nutritional information, such as grams of saturated fat, grams of carbohydrates, and milligrams of sodium, will be at the point of sale and drive-thrus for customers. The legislation preempts local ordinances in order to create a uniform statewide standard for displaying nutritional information instead of a patchwork of local ordinances, although the bill does not prevent a restaurant from providing additional information if they so choose. A related bill was AB 97 (Mendoza) which also was signed into law prohibiting the use of trans fats in commercial food preparation. The author believes that by eliminating trans fat it would reduce the occurrence of coronary heart disease in California.

Other health and safety legislation of note chaptered into law included: SB 107 (Alquist) enacting the Wave Pool Safety Act requiring a wave pool operator to comply with specified safety requirements, including the use of life vests, assignment of lifeguards, wave action suspense procedures and restrictions for children under 42 inches in height, and requiring the operator to post these requirements; SB 158 (Florez) establishing an infection surveillance, prevention, and control program within the Department of Public Health to provide oversight of hospital prevention and reporting of general acute care hospital-associated infections; SB 400 (Corbett) requiring that written prescriptions for drugs under the Medi-Cal program be written on tamper resistant prescription forms; SB 483 (Kuehl) implementing the federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 relating to Medicaid long-term care eligibility; SB 491 (Alquist) enhancing the State Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Advisory Committee’s responsibilities; SB 509 (Simitian) establishing a Toxics Information Clearinghouse; SB 541 (Alquist) increasing the maximum penalties levied against hospitals for a deficiency constituting immediate jeopardy to the health and safety of patients; SB 564 (Ridley-Thomas) providing for a grant program to develop new school health centers; SB 697 (Yee) prohibiting health care providers from balance billing patients who furnish documentation of enrollment in the Healthy Families Program or the Access for Infants and Mothers Program; SB 731 (Oropeza) creating the Massage Therapist Organization (MTO) and providing for the certification of massage therapists and massage practitioners by the MTO; SB 853 (Perata) abolishing the Committee on Dental Auxiliaries within the Dental Board of California, transferring the regulation of dental hygienists to a newly created Dental Hygiene Committee; SB 891 (Correa) permitting a pilot program allowing a limited number of acute care hospitals to provide cardiac catheterization services without on-site heart surgery services; SB 963 (Ridley-Thomas) extending the sunset for the Board of Psychology, the Acupuncture Board, and the Board of Behavioral Science; SB 1058 (Alquist) enacting the Medical Facility Infection Control and Prevention Act; SB 1136 (Alquist) creating a private right of action for an individual who has been charged unreasonable fees for assistance in procuring public social services; SB 1141 (Margett) repealing existing authority of the Emergency Medical Services Authority and the local emergency services agency to regulate public aircraft that conduct emergency medical and search rescue missions; SB 1147 (Calderon) requiring the Department of Health Care Services to develop procedures to ensure that the Medi-Cal eligibility of minors is not terminated when they are incarcerated; SB 1160 (Alquist) exempting non-needy caregivers from meeting various re-certification requirements when those caregivers move from one California county to another; SB 1168 (Runner) providing that a health plan or insurer may not terminate coverage for a dependent child who is over 18 years of age and enrolled at a secondary or postsecondary educational institution if the child takes a medically necessary level of absence from school; SB 1175 (Steinberg) permitting the Department of Developmental Services to approve regional center proposals for leasing housing for people with developmental disabilities under specified conditions; SB 1178 (Aanestad) requiring the Dental Board of California to deny licensure to individuals who are required to register as sex offenders under federal law; SB 1184 (Kuehl) requiring clinical laboratories to report all CD4 count test results to the local health officer within seven days of the completion of the test; SB 1216 (Scott) requiring long-term care insurers to pay claimants 10% annual interest on late payments; SB 1272(Cox) increasing, from $5 million to $10 million, the amount of a health facility loan through the California Health Facility Construction Loan Insurance Program that can be insured for up to 95% of the total construction costs; SB 1307 (Ridley-Thomas) establishing a graduated implementation schedule for compliance with the electronic drug pedigree law; SB 1341 (Padilla) permitting current families participating in the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids program to utilize money within “restricted savings accounts” to avoid homelessness situations; SB 1379 (Ducheny) enhancing the bringing of physicians to underserved communities; SB 1380 (Steinberg) expanding eligibility and revising operational, reporting and training requirements of the Intensive Treatment Foster Care program; SB 1387 (Padilla) establishing specific requirements for overpayment notices sent by dental plans to dental providers; SB 1395 (Corbett) requiring the Department of Toxic Substances Control to monitor and test lead plumbing for compliance with existing lead standards; SB 1401 (Simitian) requiring the state to assist combat veterans to obtain specified health screenings; SB 1406 (Correa) specifying permissible procedures for certified optometrists, and creating the Glaucoma Diagnosis and Treatment Advisory Committee to establish glaucoma certification requirements; SB 1441 (Ridley-Thomas) establishing, within the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Substance Abuse Coordination Committee to develop uniform standards and controls for programs dealing with health licensees with substance abuse problems; SB 1502 (Steinberg) providing an income tax checkoff for ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease research; SB 1503 (Steinberg) including ALS Association Certified Centers in the definition of specialty care centers; SB 1531 (Correa) requiring the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to develop and make available a course for first responders to emergency situations on how to recognize and interact with persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder; SB 1553 (Lowenthal) enhancing an individual’s ability to obtain mental health insurance; SB 1584 (Padilla) increasing fees charged for veterinarian licensing; SB 1608 (Corbett) enacting reforms intended to increase voluntary compliance with longstanding state and federal laws requiring access to the disabled in any place of public accommodation; SB 1621 (Ashburn) enhancing eligibility for participation in the State Nursing Assumption Program of Loans for Education-Nursing Faculty; SB 1668 (Migden) requiring the State Fire Marshal to prepare and adopt regulations establishing minimum requirements for the prevention of fire, and for the protection of life and property against fire and panic, for any laboratory or research and development facility that stores, handles, or uses regulated hazardous materials; SB 1729 (Migden) requiring registered nurses, certified nurse assistants, licensed vocational nurses, and physicians working in skilled nursing facilities or congregate living health facilities to participate in a training program focused on preventing and eliminating discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity; SB 1770 (Padilla) extending, until 1/1/14, the sunset on the Reproductive Rights Law Enforcement Act; SB 1774 (Corbett) increasing the composition of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities; AB 55 (Laird) conforming state law with federal regulations establishing exemptions from anti-kickback laws for nonmonetary remuneration related to electronic prescribing and electronic health records; AB 66 (Dymally) appropriating $1,472,000 from the Infant Botulism Treatment and Prevention Fund for the purposes of paying contract obligations associated with the production of BabyBIG, an antidote treatment for infant botulism; AB 211 (Jones) establishing an Office of Health Information Integrity to ensure the enforcement of state confidentiality of medical information; AB 433 (Beall) requiring the Department of Social Services to propose a new name for the food stamp program and to adopt the federal option to establish categorical eligibility for food stamp benefits for those who are under 130 percent of the federal poverty level regardless of the level of their assets; AB 638 (Bass) establishing, until 1/1/14, the California Physician Assistant Loan Assumption Program to assume up to $20,000 in student loans for eligible students who agree to practice in medically underserved areas; AB 749 (Wolk) requiring residential care facilities for the elderly to have an emergency plan available to residents and to local emergency responders; AB 978 (Benoit) establishing standards and timelines for enforcing serious health and safety violations at community care facilities; AB 994 (Parra) extending the sunset date for the Associate Degree Nursing Scholarship Pilot Program; AB 1060 (Laird) exempting a licensed dentist who stores human freeze dried bone and dermis obtained from a licensed tissue bank from tissue bank licensing requirements; AB 1183 (Assembly Budget Committee) enacting the 2008-09 Health budget trailer bill; AB 1203 (Salas) establishing uniform requirements governing communications between health plans and non-contracting hospitals related to post-stabilization care following an emergency; AB 1279 (Assembly Budget Committee) enacting the 2008-09 Human Services trailer bill; AB 1461 (Krekorian) exempting a health insurance policy from the Uniform Accident and Sickness Policy Provision Law which allows disability insurers to exclude coverage for claims resulting from intoxication; AB 1545 (Eng) re-establishing the Dental Board of California, the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board, the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians, and the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology within the Department of Consumer Affairs; AB 1860 (Hoffman) enacting the Product Recall Safety and Protection Act; AB 1879 (Feuer) requiring the Department of Toxic Substances Control to establish a process by which chemicals or chemical ingredients in products may be identified and prioritized for consideration as being chemicals of concern; AB 1894 (Krekorian) requiring health care service plans and health insurers selling health insurance to cover HIV testing regardless of whether the testing is related to a primary diagnosis; AB 1927 (Galgiani) recreating a Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians of the State of California within the Department of Consumer Affairs; AB 2070 (Bass) increasing the time reunification services may be available to parents whose children are dependents of the court in consideration of barriers faced by parents who are incarcerated, institutionalized, or in residential substance abuse treatment to accessing services; AB 2096 (Bass) allowing foster group home providers to use a prudent parent standard when deciding to give permission to a child in foster care to participate in extracurricular, enrichment or social activities; AB 2098 (Krekorian) making it a misdemeanor to buy, sell, process or butcher a non-ambulatory animal for human consumption; AB 2120 (Galgiani) extending the sunset date for the Medi-Cal teleopthalmology and teledermatology services; AB 2128 (Emmerson) requiring health facilities to employ a full-time, part-time, or consulting dietician; AB 2210 (Price) allowing dentists to provide emergency medical care during a declared state of emergency; AB 2291 (Mendoza) permitting the addition of the Municipal Shelter Spay-Neuter Fund checkoff to the personal income tax form upon the removal of another voluntary contribution fund from the form; AB 2310 (Maze) requiring the county welfare department to provide additional information and documents to a person in the foster care system who has reached the age of majority before the juvenile court terminates jurisdiction over that individual; AB 2341 (Maze) specifying time periods during which reunification services are provided to children who are dependents of the juvenile court, and their parents or guardians; AB 2352 (Fuentes) ensuring that all health care providers who serve dependent children will be permitted to disclose medical information when it is necessary to facilitate a child’s medical treatment and diagnosis; AB 2370 (Bass) requiring disclosure of information on the history of rate increases by residential care facilities for the elderly; AB 2439 (De La Torre) changing the $50 fee assessed voluntarily on an applicant for issuance or biennial renewal of a physician and surgeon’s license to a mandatory $25 fee to be deposited into the Medically Underserved Account for Physicians; AB 2445 (Nakanishi) permitting the Medical Board of California to issue a public letter of reprimand concurrently with a physician’s and surgeon’s certificate for minor violation; AB 2474 (Galgiani) clarifying hospital inpatient reimbursement for non-Medi-Cal linked California Children’s Services patients; AB 2482 (Maze) permitting the Physician Assistant Committee of the Medical Board of California to require physician assistants to complete up to 50 hours of continuing education every two years as a condition for license renewal; AB 2483 (Bass) protecting the rights of teen parents in the foster care system by preventing them from placing their children in a voluntary program of supervision without first consulting with their attorney; AB 2518 (Torrico) permitting the addition of the California Cancer Research Fund checkoff to the personal income tax form upon the removal of another voluntary contribution fund from the form; AB 2565 (Eng) requiring a licensed acute care hospital to adopt a policy for providing family or next of kin of a patient with a reasonably brief period of accommodation, as defined, in the event the patient is declared brain dead; AB 2569 (De Leon) requiring health plans and health insurers to offer new coverage, or continue existing coverage, for individuals covered in a contract or policy where the coverage was rescinded, as specified; AB 2599 (De Leon) requiring the Department of Public Health to set guidelines for collecting fees from researchers for the use of blood samples from the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program and to adopt regulations for releasing blood samples for research; AB 2702 (Nunez) allowing physicians providing services in certain standby emergency departments to receive reimbursement from Proposition 99, and Maddy Emergency Medical Services funds; AB 2747 (Berg) requiring a health care provider who makes a diagnosis that a patient has a terminal illness to, upon the patient’s request, provide the patient with comprehensive information and counseling regarding legal end-of-life care options; AB 2842 (Berg) making it an unfair business practice to sell health care coverage using cold lead advertising; AB 2899 (Portantino) allowing publicly funded human immunodeficiency virus test sites to provide educational services to individuals, as appropriate; AB 2904 (Hayashi) permitting county boards of supervisors to review specified information when foster children die; AB 3000 (Wolk) establishing the Physician’s Order for Life Sustaining Treatment form; AB 3010 (Blakeslee) permitting the Director of the Department of Mental Health to prohibit the possession or use of tobacco products on the grounds of state mental hospitals under specified conditions; AB 3015 (Brownley) requiring additional subject matter coverage in mandatory trainings of foster care providers; and AB 3083 (Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee) requiring the Department of Health Care Services to seek federal funding for mental health services for veterans.

Vetoed health and safety legislation of note included: SB 201 (Florez) establishing the Fresh Raw Milk Act of 2008; SB 349 (Perata) requiring health plans and insurers to provide at no charge a paper copy of any bill to any subscriber, enrollee, or certificate holder who does not consent to electronic billing; SB 489 (Steinberg) placing requirements on continuing care retirement communities in the event of their closure; SB 527 (Steinberg) requiring the Department of Developmental Services to work with one or more regional centers to establish the Autism Disorders Early Screening, Intervention, and Treatment Pilot Program; SB 535 (Kuehl) requiring the Department of Public Health’s web site to include specific information regarding each facility’s history of complaints, Medi-Cal status, state and federal inspection of deficiencies, enforcement actions, staffing compliance and other information deemed important by the department; SB 775 (Ridley-Thomas) requiring the Department of Public Health to make available to all health care providers current information about lead and lead poisoning and to report on the state’s lead poisoning prevention programs; SB 973 (Simitian) establishing within the Department of Health Care Services the California Health Benefits Service Program to authorize and facilitate the creation of joint ventures among public health coverage programs; SB 977 (Correa) requiring the California Commission on Aging to conduct a review of existing data, surveys, and reports related to senior center infrastructure needs; SB 981 (Perata) prohibiting non-contracting hospital emergency room physicians from directly billing enrollees of health care service plans licensed by the Department of Managed Health Care under the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975, other than allowable co-payments and deductibles; SB 986 (Ridley-Thomas) revising the guidelines by which a pet store operator or employee may euthanize rodents and rabbits intended as food for another animal; SB 992 (Wiggins) requiring the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs to license adult recovery maintenance facilities; SB 1132 (Migden) requiring independent foster care adolescents to be deemed enrolled in Medi-Cal without reapplication; SB 1151 (Perata) requiring acute care hospitals to establish a patient protection and health care worker back injury prevention plan; SB 1198 (Kuehl) requiring group health plans and insurers to offer coverage for durable medical equipment; SB 1218 (Correa) recasting the required curriculum to obtain a marriage and family therapist license; SB 1221 (Kuehl) requiring health facilities financing from the California Health Facilities Financing Authority (CHFFA), a local government, or a joint powers authority, to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the CHFFA, the local government, or the joint powers authority, the performance of community service; SB 1230 (Maldonado) prohibiting, with specified exemptions, any home laundry or dish detergent or cleaning agent containing more than 0.5% phosphorus by weight; SB 1313 (Corbett) prohibiting the manufacture, sale or distribution in commerce or any food contact substance that contains perfluorinated compounds in a concentration exceeding 10 parts per billion; SB 1351 (Corbett) providing for more state oversight of health care districts when they establish partnerships with private non-profit or for-profit hospital corporations; SB 1386 (Lowenthal) requiring that a carbon monoxide alarm be installed in every dwelling intended for human occupancy that has a fossil fuel burning appliance, fireplace, or attached garage; SB 1402 (Corbett) requiring various health licensing boards to make available on the Internet information regarding their enforcement actions against licensees; SB 1415 (Kuehl) requiring a health care provider to notify patients concerning retention of their medical records; SB 1440 (Kuehl) requiring health plans and health insurers to spend at least 85% of premiums on health care benefits, a requirement known as a medical loss ratio; SB 1475 (Torlakson) establishing a two-year pilot project to improve transition of children with autism from regional centers to programs provided by school districts; SB 1518 (Correa) requiring the Department of Aging to seek to ensure that Multipurpose Senior Service Program services are provided in the most integrated setting possible; SB 1526 (Perata) requiring the Medical Board of California to develop regulations for the employment and designation of certified polysomnographic technologists, technicians, and trainees; SB 1563 (Perata) requiring the Department of Managed Health Care and the Department of Insurance to establish the Autism Workgroup for Equitable Health Insurance Coverage to examine coverage of services related to pervasive developmental disorders or autism, and to make recommendations on ensuring that health plans and insurance provide appropriate and equitable coverage for pervasive developmental disorders or autism; SB 1633 (Kuehl) prohibiting a dentist, or an employee or agent of a dentist, from charging an open-end credit line which is extended by a third party and is arranged for or established in a dental office, for services that the patient has not yet received; SB 1634 (Steinberg) requiring specified health care service plans and health insurers to cover orthodontic services deemed necessary for medical reasons for cleft palate procedures; SB 1738 (Steinberg) requiring the Department of Health Care Services to establish a three-year pilot program to provide intensive multidisciplinary services to 2,500 Medi-Cal beneficiaries defined as frequent users of health care; AB 2 (Dymally) revising and restructuring the Major Risk Medical Insurance Program; AB 13 (Brownley) requiring specified hospitals to adopt a plan or procedure for determining staffing of professional and technical job classifications; AB 16 (Evans) requiring health plans and health insurers that currently provide coverage for cervical cancer to also cover the human papillomavirus vaccination; AB 30 (Evans) requiring all health plans and insurers to cover the testing and treatment of inborn errors of metabolism; AB 54 (Dymally) requiring health plan contracts and health insurance policies to provide group coverage for services provided by an acupuncturist; AB 214 (Fuentes) creating the Physician and Surgeon Diversion Program under the Department of Public Health that permits physicians and surgeons to obtain treatment and monitoring of alcohol or substance abuse or mental disorder; AB 239 (DeSaulnier) enacting the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors Licensing Law and provides for the licensing of these counselors by the Board of Behavioral Sciences within the Department of Consumer Affairs; AB 317 (Berg) requiring the Department of Health Care Services to pay for partial days of attendance at an adult day health care center resulting from a disaster for which a Governor-declared state of emergency has been declared, subject to utilization controls set by the Department of Health Care Services; AB 368 (Carter) requiring health care service plan contracts and health insurance policies to offer coverage for hearing aids, up to $1,000, to all children, as specified; AB 371 (Huffman) requiring hospitals applying for tax-exempt public bond financing to have a worker injury prevention plan which includes a safe patient lift policy; AB 501 (Swanson) requiring pharmaceutical manufacturers, upon request, to arrange to provide consumers who are prescribed pre-filled syringes, pre-filled pens, or other pre-filled injection devices, with a postage prepaid mail-back sharps container, or other approved sharps container; AB 547 (Ma) permitting the Medical Board of California to reduced its licensing fees below the statutory amount of $790; AB 1022 (Saldana) permitting licensed continuing care retirement communities to contract with, and provide services to, elderly persons in their own residences, and exempts the residence from licensing provisions applicable to residential care facilities; AB 1155(Huffman) discouraging the underpayment of health providers by health plans; AB 1574 (Plescia) permitting the Board of Pharmacy to grant a limited license to clinics, as specified, to allow them to purchase drugs at wholesale for administration or dispending to clinic patients for pain and nausea; AB 1701 (Dymally) requiring the Department of Health Care Services to establish a pilot project for Medi-Cal pediatric patients with complex ventilator medical needs; AB 1825 (Beall) establishing a process for resolving disputes between regional centers and publicly funded, generic, agencies; AB 1829 (Ma) extending the sunset of the California Families and Children Account, which contains funds to implement a voluntary nurse home visiting grant program, as the Nurse-Family Partnership program; AB 1872 (Coto) establishing the California Autism Spectrum Disorder Clearinghouse; AB 1887 (Beall) requiring health plans and health insurers to cover the diagnosis and medically necessary treatment of a mental illness, as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV; AB 1945 (De La Torre) requiring the Department of Managed Health Care and the Department of Insurance to jointly, by regulation, establish standard information and health history questions to be used on applications; AB 1962 (De La Torre) requiring health insurer policies to provide coverage for maternity services; AB 1996 (Swanson) extending eligibility for food stamp benefits to convicted drug felons who distributed controlled substances; AB 2106 (Hayashi) prohibiting a person from manufacturing, selling, or distributing in commerce any cosmetic that contains any of nine specified ingredients; AB 2160 (Carter) adding a definition of disability to the Mello-Granlund Older Californians Act; AB 2220 (Jones) increasing the number of contracts between emergency room physicians and health plans or their contracting intermediaries so that the practice of balance billing will become less prevalent; AB 2252 (DeSaulnier) establishing a state advocacy commission on youth; AB 2262 (Torrico) expanding the “Safe-Surrender” law to allow the birth parent or individual who has lawful custody of the child seven-days old or younger to be surrendered to a safe-surrender site as designated; AB 2440 (Laird) requiring the Department of Health Care Services to annually adopt specified disease codes adopted by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services by October 1 of the year in which the codes are published; AB 2443 (Nakanishi) requiring the Medical Board of California to establish a program to promote the well-being of physicians and surgeons; AB 2540 (Mendoza) establishing “single operating site mobile food facility” as a new category of mobile food facilities regulated under the California Retail Food Code; AB 2543 (Berg) establishing the Geriatric and Gerontology Workforce Expansion Act which allows specified geriatric service providers to apply for grants, on or after 1/1/10, under the existing Licensed Mental Health Service Provider Education Program; AB 2947 (Eng) prohibiting a residential care facility for the elderly from requiring as a condition of admission or continued care that the older or dependent adult, or his/her representative, waive certain legal rights; AB 2968 (Carter) enacting the Donda West Law which prohibits elective cosmetic surgery on a patient unless, prior to the surgery, the patient has received a physical examination and clearance for surgery, as specified, and AB 2996 (De La Torre) requiring the Department of Public Health and local public health departments, when conducting emergency or disaster preparedness exercises related to an infectious disease outbreak, to establish a process for identifying deficiencies in preparedness plans and procedures to ensure corrective actions.

The 2008 November ballot contained three proposition relating to health: (1) Proposition 2 providing for standards for the confinement of farm animals which passed with a margin of 63.2% to 36.8%, (2) Proposition 3 providing a $950 million Children’s Hospital Bond Act grant program which passed by a margin of 54.7% to 45.3%, and (3) Proposition 4 which would have provided for a waiting period and parental notification before termination of a minor’s pregnancy, which was defeated.