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CPEHN Sponsored Bills on Equity in Mental Health, Health Care, and Transportation Signed Into Law!

CPEHN Sponsored Bills on Equity in Mental Health, Health Care, and Transportation Signed Into Law!

October 15th marked the last day for Governor Brown to sign or veto bills passed during this legislative session. Of the 977 bills sent to his desk, Brown signed 859 bills and vetoed 118. CPEHN is proud to have 3 of our 4 sponsored bills among the bills signed:

  • AB 470 (Arambula), Mental Health Equity Act, will establish robust tracking and evaluation measures to ensure Medi-Cal beneficiaries have timely access to quality mental health services that meet their cultural and language needs. Specifically, for adult specialty mental health, AB 470 would facilitate the improvement of mental health outcomes and the reduction of disparities by implementing a statewide performance and outcomes reporting system including data on utilization, timely access, language access, and quality of care, stratified by race, ethnicity, primary language, age, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
  • SB 223 (Atkins), Health Care Non-Discrimination Act, will require all health plans in California, including county-operated mental health plans, to comply with non-discrimination measures, strengthen consumer protections, and align language access standards regardless of changes in federal policy. This bill brings all health plans to the highest standards for providing language assistance and interpretation services for Limited-English Proficient (LEP) individuals. It will also codify key non-discrimination notification provisions from the Affordable Care Act into California state law.
  • AB 179 (Cervantes) Promoting Equity, Health and Diverse Representation in Transportation, co-sponsored by Center for Community Action & Environmental Justice and ClimatePlan, would ensure better representation of climate, equity and environmental justice goals in our state’s transportation programs and policies by requiring the Governor to make every effort to ensure commissioners on the California Transportation Commission (CTC) hold diverse professional and socioeconomic backgrounds, including experience working in or representing disadvantaged communities.

Unfortunately, Governor Brown vetoed AB 391 (Chiu), Asthma Preventative Services Act. Co-sponsored by Regional Asthma Management & Prevention and Children Now, AB 391 would have delivered better care for Medi-Cal beneficiaries with asthma by adopting policies to expand access to cost-effective preventative care and provide healthcare workforce opportunities for communities of color. Specifically, this bill directs the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to cover asthma education and home environmental asthma trigger assessment services provided by qualified professionals that may fall outside of the state’s clinical licensure system as long as the services are recommended by a licensed practitioner.
 
We are very disappointed by Governor Brown’s veto. We set out over two years ago with RAMP and Children Now to bring greater access to proven asthma preventive services through expanded financing made available to state Medicaid programs. The bill received bi-partisan support, making clear the Legislature’s intent for the state to invest in these cost-saving services for Medi-Cal beneficiaries. We remain committed to moving this issue forward and will look to forge another path ahead.
 
Thank you to our co-sponsors and constituents for your letters of support for all the bills this year. We look forward to a restful and productive interim recess.

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