Additional Vaccine Bills ‘Quietly’ Make Way Through Calif. Legislature
Amid debate over childhood vaccine "personal belief" exemptions, two other vaccine-related bills in the California Legislature are aimed at strengthening the state's immunization requirements, KQED's "State of Health" reports (Dutro, "State of Health," KQED, 5/18).
A highly contentious bill (SB 277) that would end personal belief exemptions to childhood vaccination requirements in the state is headed to the Assembly after the state Senate last week voted 25-10 to approve the measure (California Healthline, 5/15).
According to "State of Health," the two other vaccine bills are moving through the Legislature "a bit more quietly":
- AB 1117, by Assembly member Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens); and
- SB 792, by state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) ("State of Health," KQED, 5/18).
Details of AB 1117
AB 1117 directs the Department of Health Care Services to set up a program called the California Childhood Immunization Quality Improvement Fund, for which the department would need to submit a waiver application to CMS.
The immunization project for children under age two would be a five-year demonstration program. The funding would come from Medi-Cal managed care plans -- on a volunteer basis -- and would be used to pay providers and reward managed care plans that show improvement in vaccine numbers.
DHCS officials also would be required to produce an independent assessment of the project's efficacy.
The bill received its first hearing in the Assembly Committee on Health on April 21 (Gorn, California Healthline, 4/21). However, the measure has been put on hold in the Assembly's suspense file ("State of Health," KQED, 5/18).
Details of SB 792
Meanwhile, SB 792 would require day care workers to be vaccinated against diseases that pose a risk to young children (California Healthline, 4/21).
Under the bill, day care workers would have 90 days to comply with the requirements if at first they cannot show proof of vaccination. Employers would then face fines of $25 to $50 per day for not firing employees who fail to comply after 90 days.
According to the California Department of Social Services' Community Care Licensing Division, the measure could affect more than 300,000 childcare workers at more than 40,000 centers across the state.
The bill was scheduled for a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Monday. However, the bill -- which has few associated costs -- likely will bypass the committee and head to the full Senate, according to "State of Health" ("State of Health," KQED, 5/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.