Senate-Approved Bill Would Create Name-Based HIV Reporting System
The Senate on Thursday unanimously approved a bill (SB 699) that would implement a name-based tracking system for HIV cases in the state in order to retain about $50 million in federal funding, the Los Angeles Times reports. The state's current alphanumeric coding system "has been widely characterized as a failure," according to the Times (Los Angeles Times, 1/20).
The bill, by Sen. Nell Soto (D-Ontario), would give the state one year to create rules for the new, confidential names-based system. The bill also would create penalties for those who do not adhere to the confidentiality rules and would allow anonymous HIV testing in certain locations. Patients tested anonymously would be entered into the system only if they sought medical care at a hospital or from a physician (California Healthline, 1/18).
This fall, the federal government plans to reduce funding to states that have unreliable HIV-tracking systems.
The administration of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has indicated support for the bill, which now moves to the Assembly (Los Angeles Times, 1/20).
In other legislative news, a bill (AB 319) that would ban the use of phthalates and bisphenol A -- toxic compounds used in the manufacture of vinyl and polycarbonate plastic, respectively -- in products intended for children younger than age three died on Thursday because of a lack of support by Appropriations Committee members, the Times reports.
Assembly member Wilma Chan (D-Oakland) said she plans to reintroduce the bill next year (Cone, Los Angeles Times, 1/20).