2017-18 Legislation

Health Legislation

Senate Bill (SB) 241 - Changes state law to specify that patients have the right to receive an electronic copy of their medical record, if the health care provider maintains it electronically, and that they can receive a copy of their medical record in the form and format of their choice, if the health care provider can readily produce the record.  The bill also eliminates the ability of providers to collect a retrieval fee for medical records, in accordance with federal law, and aligns state privacy laws for mental health patients with federal law by permitting the disclosure of patient information from providers to business associates or health care operations in accordance with the federal “minimum necessary” standard.

(Status:  Chapter 513, Statutes of 2017)

 

SB 300 - Requires a health-warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California that contain added sweeteners and 75 calories or more per 12 ounces.  The warning label will inform consumers about the risks that link sugary drink consumption to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay.

(Status:  Senate Committee on Health)

 

SB 398 – Extends the sunset date of the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) program to 2024. 

(Status:  Assembly Committee on Human Services)

 

SB 449 – Requires two hours of classroom training for Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs) to be dedicated to address the special needs of those with Alzheimer’s and related dementias.  Of the current 60 classroom hours of training for CNAs, 50 hours are prescribed in regulation by the California Department of Public Health. 

(Status:  Chapter 282, Statutes of 2017)

 

SB 538 - Allows the benefits of hospitals being able to consolidate to promote coordination, while mitigating consumer harm if hospitals attempt to use that market power to increase prices. 

(Status: Assembly Committee on Health)

 

SB 997 - Current law allows health care service plans to list non-physician providers as Primary Care Providers until January 1, 2019.  SB 997 removes the January 1, 2019 sunset date and allows this designation to be permanent.

(Status:  Senate Committee on Appropriations)

 

SB 1113 - Authorizes the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission to engage workplace mental health experts, consumers, and public and private employers to create a voluntary standard for Mental Health in the Workplace.  The standard would combat mental health stigma, increase awareness of mental health needs and prevention opportunities, and promote mental health wellness.

(Status:  Senate Committee on Health)

 

SB 1192 - Requires a restaurant, which serves a meal primarily targeted and marketed to children, to make the default drink option served in those bundled meals a healthy beverage - water, sparkling water, flavored water with no added sweeteners, or milk.  Customers can still explicitly ask to replace the healthy drink with a sugary beverage at no cost, but the default beverage offered in a children’s meal must be a healthy option.

(Status:  Senate Committee on Rules)

 

Senate Resolution 34 - Proclaims May 2017 as Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month. 

(Status: Enrolled 2017)

 

Education Legislation

SB 1321 – Clarifies the existing process for school districts seeking a waiver from the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the eligibility requirements for the Necessary Small Schools supplemental grant.

(Status:  Senate Committee on Education)

 

Transportation Legislation

SB 1236 - Implements a federal rule that requires those seeking a commercial driver’s license (CDL) complete a certified course of instruction from a commercial driving institution or program offered by an employer.  The Department of Motor Vehicles is required to adopt regulations to comply with the federal rule by June 5, 2020.  Additionally, it establishes minimum behind-the-wheel training be completed as part of obtaining a CDL.

(Status:  Senate Committee on Appropriations)

 

Energy Legislation

SB 1090 - Calls on the California Public Utilities Commission to approve elements of the Joint Proposal, as modified by the community impact mitigation settlement, which were submitted as part of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant retirement application.

(Status:  Senate Committee on Rules)

 

Environmental Legislation

SB 377 - Aligns California law with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Renovation Repair and Painting rule by establishing a state certification process for contractors to work on renovation, repair, and painting projects that are likely to contain lead paint.  Fourteen other states have already successfully aligned state and federal lead laws.

(Status:  Assembly Floor Inactive File)

 

SB 623 - Establishes the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund to make short- and long-term drinking water solutions available to low-income Californians who lack safe and affordable drinking water.

(Status: Assembly Committee on Rules)

 

SB 1079 - Authorizes the Director of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) to allow advanced payments from the Forest Health Grant and Fire Prevention Fund Grant Programs.

(Status:  Senate Committee on Rules)

 

Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 23 - Designated the Spring Equinox of every year as California Wildlife Day to help to educate the public about the importance of protecting and nurturing the state’s wildlife, as well as to increase the public’s awareness of the need to protect, restore, and care for our natural resources.   

(Status:  Resolution Chapter 16, Statutes of 2017)

 

Worker-Related Legislation

SB 295 - Authorizes the state Labor Commissioner to cite Farm Labor Contractors (FLCs) when there is a finding that no or inadequate sexual harassment prevention training has occurred; when no records of training have been provided; when falsified training records are given to farm workers; and/or when there is failure to train workers in a language they understand.   The bill also requires FLCs to annually disclose to the Labor Commissioner the training materials being used and to report the total number of farm workers who have been trained in the previous calendar year.

(Status:  Chapter 424, Statutes of 2017)

 

SB 632 - Establishes the presumptive time limit of seven hours in any civil action for mesothelioma, similar to federal law.  A licensed physician would be required to attest that the deponent is over 70 years of age and his/her health is such that a deposition of more than seven hours will prejudice the deponent’s interest in the litigation or, without regard to the age of the deponent, the deponent suffers from an illness or condition that raises substantial medical doubt of the survival of the deponent beyond six months.

(Status:  Assembly Floor Inactive File)

 

Underground Economy

SB 486 - Allows the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) to establish an intermediary level of discipline to address less egregious violations of the law and to direct funds that are saved to increased enforcement efforts.  The CSLB will use this new authority to address violations that do not involve financial injury or an order of correction for consumers, such as advertising violations.

(Status:  Chapter 308, Statutes of 2017)

 

SB 1042 - Allows the Contractors State License Board to host informal citation appeal conferences to resolve administrative citations it issues to licensed and unlicensed contractors, prior to a formal appeal, through an administrative hearing.

(Status: Senate Committee on Business, Professions, and Economic Development)

 

 

Insurance Legislation

SB 261 - Authorizes the electronic submission of specified reports, and establishes standards and procedures for reports that are required by the Insurance Code to be submitted to legislative committees.

(Status:  Assembly Floor Inactive File)

 

SB 569 - Requires the Insurance Commissioner, in the event of a disaster declaration by the President or the Governor and at the request of an insured or the insured’s legal representative that is unable to identify the insurer for a property located in the disaster area, to provide the insured’s name and property location information to insurers who issue homeowners’ insurance policies in the state.  Insurers would have 30 days to respond and have to indicate whether the property is covered by a homeowners’ insurance policy.  That information would then be provided by the California Department of Insurance to the insured or the insured’s legal representative within 14 days after receipt.

(Status:   Chapter 361, Statutes of 2017)

 

Public Safety Legislation

SB 321 - Requires the Governor to appoint a special master to oversee the state’s exoneree compensation claims process, currently administered by the California Victims Compensation Board.  The special master must, at a minimum, have training and experience in the evaluation of evidence, making determinations of fact, and applying the facts to the law, particularly in the area of wrongful convictions.

(Status:  Senate Committee on Appropriations)

 

SB 420 - Includes sentencing information in the existing list of criminal background information that the California Department of Justice is authorized to provide to specified entities who are eligible to receive Criminal Record Offender Information.

(Status: Chapter 333, Statutes of 2017)

 

SB 766 - Authorizes out-of-state and foreign attorneys to represent parties in international commercial arbitrations held in California.

(Status:  In the Assembly)

 

SB 1129 - Establishes protections for victims of domestic violence by ensuring that they cannot be forced to financially support their abusive spouse through court ordered spousal support, payment of their spouse’s attorney’s fees, or the splitting of their community property.

(Status:  Senate Committee on Judiciary)