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Big Week Ahead — and the Budget Looms

You’re going to see a lot of bills passed this week, at least through the committee phase of legislation. This is the final week, ending July 2, for laws to be approved out of committee, so legislators are likely looking at long, agenda-packed hearings.

For instance, the Senate Committee for Appropriations meets today (Monday), with a grand total of 96 items on its agenda. Good luck with that.

Also, July 1 is the beginning of the fiscal year, and that leads into the next deadline: passing a state budget.

That deadline actually came and went on June 15, so legislators will continue reporting to the Capitol until a budget can be hammered out.

A few of the bills on the docket:

  • AB 646 (Sandre Swanson, D-Alameda) would allow limited direct hiring of physicians by some rural and underserved health care districts and hospitals. It’s in the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee.
  • SB 810 (Mark Leno, D-San Francisco) would establish a single-payer health care system in California. It’s in the Assembly Health Committee.
  • AB 2578  (Dave Jones, D-Sacramento) would allow the state to regulate health insurance rate hikes. It’s in Senate appropriations.
  • SB 1169  (Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach) would require health insurance plans and insurers to treat mental health claims in a similar fashion as physical health claims, and order them to create tracking numbers for mental health claims. It’s in the Assembly Health Committee.
  • AB 2153 (Ted Lieu, D-Torrance) would set up an emergency department “crowding scale” by requiring each  acute care hospital to determine the range of crowding in its ED and keep a running tally of overcrowding.

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