GOV. DAVIS: Signs Assembly Legislation
Over the weekend, Gov. Gray Davis signed a host of Assembly bills covering senior's health, including a package of bills that address some of state seniors' long-term care needs. Davis signed the following bills:
- AB 27 by Assemblyman George Nakano (D-Torrance): This bill requires the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHSA) to develop a long-term care infrastructure blueprint to analyze how information technology could be used for specified purposes. This bill requires CHHSA to report its findings to the Legislature by Jan. 1, 2001.
- AB 161 by Assemblywoman Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara): This bill creates the California Osteoporosis Prevention and Education Program within the state's Department of Health Services.
- AB 452 by Assemblywoman Kerry Mazzoni (D-Novato): This bill establishes a Long-Term Care Council within the California Health and Human Services Agency that will coordinate long-term care policy development and program operations and develop a strategic plan for long-term care policy.
- AB 868 by Assemblyman Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced): This bill expands the training and professional experience requirements for the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. The bill also expands the role of the advisory council on program policy implementation.
- AB 891 by Assemblywoman Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara): This bill revises and recasts authority for patients to execute written or oral advance healthcare directives including the withholding of life-sustaining treatment.
Davis Signs Health Care Bills
In addition, Davis signed numerous Assembly bills addressing health care issues, including expanded Medicaid programs to diabled workers and programs to reduce the spread of disease across the Mexico-U.S. border. Some additional Assembly bills he signed over a busy weekend include:
- AB 63 by Assemblywoman Denise Moreno Ducheny (D-San Diego): The bill creates the Office of Binational Border Health within the Department of Health Services (DHS) that will advise the federal government on ways to halt diseases around the California-Mexico border. The office will work with the Federal u.S. Border Health Commission and other public and private organizations to provide solutions to health problems such as unterated sewage, air pollution and communicable diseases.
- AB 155 by Assemblywoman Carole Migden (D-San Francisco): The bill is designed to encourage California's disabled population to work with the assurance of adequate health care by providing a mechanism to allow these workers to buy into the Medicaid program.
- AB 136 by Assemblywoman Kerry Mazzoni (D-Novato): This bill exempts from criminal prosecution, public entities and their agents and employees who distribute hypodermic needle or syringes to participate in clean needle and syringe exchange projects authorized by the public entity pursuant to a declaration if a local emergency due to the existence of a critical local public health crisis.
- AB 271 by Assemblyman Martin Gallegos (D-Baldwin Park): This bill makes various changes to the Medical Practice Act, specifically as it relates to procedures performing in outpatient settings.
- AB 319 by Assemblyman Bruce Thompson (R-Fallbrook): This bill requires the Department of Health Services to advance 25% of the annual General Fund Budget Act allocation to local health departments for the following services: California Children's Services administration and therapy, Child Health and Disability Prevention administration; and HIV education and prevention.
- AB 359 By Assemblywoman Dion Aroner (D-Berkeley): This bill requires the Department of Health Services to establish a pilot program, contingent upon approval of the federal Health Care Financing Administration, to provide for the licensure, regulation and reimbursement rate for services provided to developmentally disabled individuals who require the availability of continuous skilled nursing care.
- AB 435 by Assemblywoman Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro): This bill limits the existing provision in the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act. The bill prohibits the disclosure of medical information relative to a patient being infected with HIV without the prior authorization of the patient unless the patient is an injured worker claiming to have been infected with HIV through the course of employment.
- AB 496 by Assemblywoman Lynne Leach (R-Walnut Creek): This bill exempts from public disclosure certain health care service plan records when a county board of supervisors governs the local initiative Medi-Cal managed care plan.
- AB 689 by Assemblyman Martin Gallegos (D-Baldwin Park): This bill appropriates $14,941,000 from the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Surtax Fund for the Breast Cancer Early Detection Program, and make minor, technical changes to current Medi-Cal statutes.