California Healthline Highlights Recent Assembly Action on Health-Related Measures
The Assembly on Thursday took action on several health-related measures in advance of the Friday deadline to move bills to the other legislative chamber for review, the Los Angeles Times reports. Legislators have until the end of August to vote on the proposals, determining whether they go to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) for consideration (Rau/Vogel, Los Angeles Times, 6/3). Summaries of the measures appear below.
- The Assembly voted 43-23 to pass AB 21, by Assembly member Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys), which would allow pharmacists to decline to fill prescriptions because of personal objections, the AP/San Diego Union-Tribune reports (AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/2). Pharmacists would have to notify their employers in writing of the objection before they could decline to fill a prescription. The measure would give the Board of Pharmacy authority to discipline any violations.
- The Assembly voted 43-32 to pass AB 805, by Assembly member Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park), which would require the state to adopt occupational health and safety standards for workers at risk of heat illness. The bill also would require farmers to provide workers with shade, water and 10-minute breaks each hour during heat waves and also to teach employees about the symptoms of heat illness (Los Angeles Times, 6/3).
- The Assembly voted 41-34 to pass AB 1677, by Assembly member Paul Koretz (D-West Hollywood), which would allow not-for-profit groups or public health agencies to distribute condoms to inmates in California prisons, despite a law prohibiting sex in prisons (Associated Press, 6/2).
- The Assembly voted 44-30 to pass SB 1698, by Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles), which would ban health insurers from dropping coverage for dependent children younger than age 26. Current law allows insurers to end coverage for dependents when they turn 19 or age 23 if they are full-time students.