The California Legislature returned from interim recess on January 3rd and were promptly met with the reality of newly drawn legislative districts. These new districts will go into effect for all elections going forward starting in 2022. We Draw the Lines, California’s independent redistricting commission submitted the final district lines which were ratified by the Secretary of State at the end of December. The new lines created a scenario for some districts where at to two and three current legislators would have to face each other in a primary – resulting in no fewer than a dozen legislators announcing they won’t seek re-election. Some legislators plan to run for other public offices while others have not yet announced their intentions.
On the first day back to session, Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez announced her resignation from the Assembly. Effective January 5, 2022, Ms. Gonzalez left the legislature as chair of the powerful Appropriations Committee to be the next leader of California Labor Federation. Her resignation created a ripple effect with Assemblymember Chris Holden being named chair of Appropriations.
As the legislature begins the second year of a two-year legislative session, we’ll see a number of two-year bills moving to meet the critical deadline of January 31. This includes AB 1400 (Kalra), California Care otherwise known as Single Payer. The bill was heard in Assembly Health Committee and passed (11-3) and will next be heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Related to AB 1400, Assemblymember Kalra introduced ACA 11 to create the CalCare Trust Fund to offset the cost of Single Payer by a number of taxes.
February 18th is the last day to introduce new bills and we expect at least 1,000 new bills to be introduced.
As the Capitol Annex (working legislative offices) undergoes major remodeling, legislators and their staff have moved into the new Swing Space located at 1021 O Street. Unfortunately, due to the OMICRON surge, legislative offices are continuing to work remotely with the high likelihood that legislative hearings will continue to be remote this year as well.
Governor’s 2022-23 Proposed Budget
On January 10th Governor Gavin Newsom released a historic $213 billion General Fund budget expenditures including $45.7 billion in surplus. In his annual press-conference the Governor outlined a number of priorities in his California Blueprint.
- Fighting COVID with Science
- Combating the Climate Crisis
- Confronting Homelessness
- Tackling the Cost of Living
- Keeping our Streets Safe
Specifically related to healthcare the Governor noted investments in:
- Universal Healthcare / Access to healthcare
- Office of Health Care Affordability
- Covered California
- Medical Surge staffing
- Behavioral Health
Additionally, the Governor proposed a requirement on non-profit hospitals to demonstrate how they are making investments in local health efforts, specifically community-based organization that address the social determinants of health. (More details to come)
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 950 Glenn Drive, Suite 250, Folsom, CA 95630
- Email email@example.com
- Phone (916) 673-2020