2021 - 2022 Legislation
Senate Bill 17 would declare racism a public health crisis and create a state Office of Racial Equity and a Racial Equity Advisory and Accountability Council. These new bodies would be tasked with developing a statewide racial equity framework and concrete strategies for addressing racial inequity across state government.
SB 226 would establish a health authority in Sacramento County and provide a pathway toward improving the delivery of Medi-Cal services in Sacramento County. The health authority will be governed by an appointed commission, which will convene stakeholders to address issues in Medi-Cal and provide oversight over the delivery services.
SB 250 would ease administrative burdens on health care providers and patients in order to allow health care resources to be dedicated to patient care. The bill would reform the prior authorization process by relieving physicians from repetitively submitting a prior authorization and using the data that health plans already collect in their current utilization review system.
SB 256 will advance many of the goals set out by CalAIM, which is a multi-year initiative by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to improve and make long-needed reforms of California’s Medi-Cal program. Specifically, it will require DHCS to seek federal approval for, and implement, waivers necessary for the CalAIM initiative to be successful.
Senate Bill 306, the STD Coverage and Care Act, would strengthen California’s public health infrastructure and expand access to STD coverage and care to improve health outcomes and create a more equitable health system. Specifically, the bill will permit HIV Counselors to administer rapid STD tests, allow the Family PACT program to offer covered benefits to income-eligible patients and requires coverage of home STD tests by public and private insurers.
SB 326 ensures that if the Federal Affordable Care Act is changed or repealed at the federal level through any of the repeated court challenges there has been, that certain provisions in California law such as the individual mandate, would not be repealed in California. Currently, our State’s ACA law is tied to federal law, and if the federal law is repealed for any reason, there would also be a repeal (12 months later) of our state’s ACA laws. More than 10 years after the passage of the ACA, with several years of successful implementation in California it is time to remove these tiebacks.
SB 369 recognizes the importance of the Yolo-Bypass-Cache Slough (Yolo Bypass) which is a major component of the flood control infrastructure that protects the Sacramento Region from flooding, supports local agricultural economies and improves water quality and water supply in our region. This bill supports the work of the Yolo Bypass Partnership, which serves as a model for public agency and State cooperation and provides support needed to produce a Local Flood Protection Master plan.
SB 510 requires health plans and insurers to cover COVID-19 testing and vaccination without cost sharing or prior authorization requirements provided both in network and out of network (out of network only during the public health emergency). The bill also sets up a similar framework for testing and immunizations for future pandemics.
SB 422 is modeled after a successful Los Angeles County partnership with UAPD and would allow the state to establish an employment registry for state physicians and other professionals who wish to remain at their place of employment but seek additional work through flexible scheduling. This bill would improve health outcome for patients by maintaining the “continuity of care,” while saving the State millions of dollars not spent on using costly private contractors.
SB 568 will help people with chronic conditions afford prescription drugs to treat chronic conditions by lowering out-of-pocket costs for patients. This bill requires health plan contracts and health insurance policies to eliminate the deductible for outpatient prescription drugs and some covered benefits that are used to treat chronic conditions.
SB 598 allows the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) to hear labor disputes within the Sacramento Regional Transit (SacRT) system. Currently, any employee-employer labor disputes within the SacRT system must be handled in California’s under-resourced Superior Court system, which can take years and extensive resources to reach resolution. Under SB 598, such disputes can go the PERB, which has extensive experience in this area of the law and can reach resolution in a timelier fashion.
Senate Bill 742 will protect the rights of people to safely receive vaccinations without concern for intimidation or physical obstruction by protestors, while preserving the right of protesters to assemble. Specifically, under SB 742, a person would not be permitted to physically obstruct or intimidate at a vaccine clinic and all individuals who engage in pickets at a vaccine clinic would need to stay at a designated distance from the clinic.