August 31st 2020 marked the end of the two-year legislative session. With the onset of the COVID pandemic in early March, California’s legislature found itself pivoting to conduct legislative business amid COVID restrictions. Legislative hearings and floor activity for both houses had to accommodate the physical distancing requirements imposed by the state. Leadership in both houses instructed members to limit their bills to those dealing with the COVID pandemic, budget, power safety power shutoffs and the California state budget. California legislators introduced 4,848 bills at the beginning of the legislative session before eliminating the bill load by nearly half, with only 1,819 ultimately making it to the Governor’s desk for his final decision. Governor Newsom concluded legislative action on September 30, 2020 signing 1,242 measures and vetoing just 228.
The Legislature is now on interim recess and will return in early December to swear in the newly elected legislators. The 2021 legislative session is scheduled to begin in early January 2021.
The District Hospital Leadership Forum has reported on the following bills of interest.
- AB 890 (Wood) – AB 890 authorizes an NP to provide specified services in specified settings, without standardized procedures, if the NP meets additional education, examination, and training requirements; establishes physician consultation, collaboration, and referral requirements.
- AB 1987 (Committee on Budget) – mandates employers with 500 or more employees nationwide to provide supplemental sick pay in relation to COVID-19 (“SSP”) to qualified employees. Qualified employees are those who must leave their home to perform work (i.e., those not teleworking), but who cannot do so because they are subject to a governmental quarantine or isolation order, advised by a healthcare provider to quarantine or self-isolate, or are prohibited from working by the employer due to concerns of potential transmission of COVID-19.
- AB 2037 (Wicks) – Increases the amount of notice a hospital that provides emergency medical services (EMS) is required to provide, from at least 90 days to at least 120 days, before a planned reduction or elimination in the level of EMS. Also increases the notice requirements, from 30 days prior to closing a hospital facility to at least 180 days prior, and from 30 days prior to eliminating or relocating a supplemental service to at least 90 days prior and includes additional manners in which public notices must be posted.
- AB 2537 (Rodriguez) – Provides that beginning April 1, 2021, an employer must maintain a stockpile of the following equipment in an amount equal to three months of normal consumption: N95 filtering facepiece respirators, powered air-purifying respirators with high efficiency particulate air filters, elastometric air-purifying respirators and appropriate particulate filters or cartridges, surgical masks, isolation gowns, eye protection, and shoe coverings. Also provides that PPE be single use unexpired, not been worn and new.
- SB 275 (Pan) – Requires CDPH to establish a personal protective equipment (PPE) stockpile for health care workers and essential workers in the state and requires health care employers, as specified, to establish a PPE inventory that is sufficient for at least 45 days of surge consumption. Also creates the Personal Protective Equipment Advisory Committee consisting of 15 members to make recommendations and guidelines.
What is State Advocacy?
As hospital CEO’s and leaders in the community, your voice carries weight in the Capitol. Not only are California hospitals providers of health care, in many cases they are the largest employers and partners in the community. Use your voice to let legislators know how a particular piece of legislation will impact your hospital, community and the patients you serve.
Why State Advocacy Matters?
Everyday California legislators are faced with policy decisions – decisions that will impact every aspect of life and business in this state. Responding to alerts for phone calls to legislators and writing support and opposition letters is an effective way of registering your position. Not only will your letters be listed on analyses, they will be delivered to legislators and used to lobby DHLF’s position on legislation.
Other ways to engage in advocacy:
- Invite your legislator and or their staff to tour your facility. Explain the type of services you provide, how many patients your hospital treats each year and important issues affecting your hospital.
- Check to see if your legislator has a “community healthcare roundtable” or other type of community group where he/she meets regularly to discuss issues of concern for the legislative district. Participating in a community group will give you and or your staff the opportunity to hear issues that are concerning to the legislator and will allow you to open lines of communication with your legislator.
- Social media – follow your legislator on Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook.
- Share what’s happening at your facility with your legislator and their staff, this will help keep them informed of important issues at your hospital.
- Address 1215 K Street, Suite #1700
Sacramento, CA 95814
- Email email@example.com
- Phone (916) 673-2020