California 2023 Legislative Session Update

California State Capitol Building at Dusk

Just before California began its legislative recess from July 14 to August 14, legislators pushed forward on certain bills in their last two weeks. 

Some of these significant bills included:

The Emergency Medical Services System and the Prehospital Emergency Medical Care Personnel Act (AB 40)

AB 40 would create the Emergency Medical Services Authority, responsible for the coordination of various state activities concerning emergency medical services. The bill would require every local EMS agency, by next March 1, to develop a standard of no more than 30 minutes for ambulance patient offload time and report the standardized time to the authority.

The bill would also require the authority to develop and implement an audit tool to improve data accuracy regarding transfer of care and to provide technical assistance and funding as needed, subject to an appropriation, for small rural hospitals and volunteer EMS providers to implement these provisions. The bill would require the authority to adopt emergency regulations to implement these provisions on or before March 1, 2024. This bill was re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations on July 13.

Nurse-to-Patient Staffing Ratios: Annual Report (AB 1063)

AB 1063 would require the state Department of Public Health to conduct an annual review of its enforcement of current regulations and submit a report to the Legislature on an annual basis. The current law requires the department to adopt regulations that establish minimum, specific, and numerical licensed nurse-to-patient ratios by licensed nurse classification and by hospital unit for all specified health facilities. Current law also requires that the ratios establish the minimum number of registered and licensed nurses to be allocated, and requires additional staff to be assigned in accordance with documented patient classification systems. This bill was re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations on July 13.

Health Facilities: Behavioral Health Response (AB 1001)

AB 1001 would require general acute care hospitals to adopt policies for behavioral health personnel to respond to patients experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis. The bill would require the Department of Public Health to adopt regulations on standards for general acute care hospitals related to behavioral health response, as well as to maintain records on each patient who receives care from behavioral health response personnel and the number of hours of services provided for a period of three years.

The bill would also require hospitals to include related data in their quarterly summary utilization data reported to the department. This bill was referred to the Committee on Health on June 14. Since then, two committee hearings at which it was scheduled for discussion have been canceled, most recently on July 6.

Out-of-State Physicians and Surgeons: Telehealth: License Exemption (AB 1369)

Under AB 1369, a person licensed as a physician and surgeon in another state who does not possess a certificate issued by the Medical Board of California would be authorized to deliver health care via telehealth to a patient who, among other requirements, has a disease or condition that is immediately life-threatening. This bill was re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations on June 26.

Minimum Wage: Health Care Workers (SB 525)

SB 525 would raise the minimum wage to $25 per hour for hours worked in defined covered health care employment. This bill was re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations on July 13.

California Acute Care Psychiatric Hospital Loan Fund (SB 45)

SB 45 would establish the California Acute Care Psychiatric Hospital Loan Fund to be used by the California Health Facilities Financing Authority to provide loans to qualifying applicants for the purpose of building or renovating acute care psychiatric hospitals, psychiatric health facilities, or psychiatric units in general acute care hospitals. The bill would authorize the authority to establish an interest rate for loans funded by general obligation bonds, and would otherwise require that loans be provided at zero interest. This bill had a first hearing on July 12 and was placed on the appropriations suspense file for its fiscal impact – so the bill will be reviewed for its monetary impacts to the state of legislation as a whole.

The end of this week marks the deadline for policy committees to meet and report bills, meaning that all bills that have not moved out of policy committees in their second chamber will be held over until next year. After Labor Day, the Legislature will make a final two-week push to move bills to the Governor’s desk by adjournment on September 14. The Governor will then have 30 days to act on bills passed in the final 12 days of session.

Share this...
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Scroll to Top