June 12, 2017

Senate Health Schedules Hearing for HOAC Sponsored TB Control Legislation
Members of the Senate Health Committee will hear HOAC’s sponsored AB 511 (Arambula) on June 21. Our bill would build on previous legislative accomplishments to replace mandated TB testing of certain low-risk populations with risk assessment screening and targeted testing, as recommended by the CDC, CDPH, and other expert public health bodies. AB 511 passed the Assembly, despite facing strong opposition from the California Nurses Association. We must now call on your help to overcome this opposition by educating Senators about the best TB control practices, which do not include universally testing low-risk populations.

If you can share this knowledge with a lawmaker or their staff, members of the Senate Health Committee would benefit from your input. Contact information for members of this committee is listed below and I would be happy to provide talking points, a fact sheet, or any other information on AB 511 to those interested.

LegislatorPartyPhoneCounties Served
Connie LeyvaD916-651-4020Los Angeles, San Bernardino
Ed Hernandez (Chair)D916-651-4022Los Angeles
Holly MitchellD916-651-4030Los Angeles
Janet Nguyen (Vice-Chair)R916-651-4034Orange
Jim NielsenR916-651-4004Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Tehama, Yuba
Josh NewmanD916-651-4029Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino
Richard RothD916-651-4031Riverside
Toni AtkinsD916-651-4039San Diego
William MonningD916-651-4017Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz

Partial California Budget Deal Reached Thursday Night: Tobacco Tax Allocation Remains Outstanding Issue

The Democratic majority in the legislature and Governor Brown have reached a partial deal for the 2017/18 FY State Budget, increasing funds for after-school programs, providing money for in-state students attending CSUs and UCs, preserving the Middle-Class Scholarship, restoring adult dental and optical services under Med-Cal, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income people, and funding dam safety and emergency flood projects. However, no agreement was reached on allocating Proposition 56 (tobacco tax) revenues. The additional $2 per pack of cigarette tax hike approved by voters in 2016 generated $1.3 billion. Governor Brown has proposed using the money to increase spending on the Medi-Cal program, while many legislators – along with the medical and dental lobbies – contend these revenues should fund increases in reimbursement rates for physicians and dentists who treat Medi-Cal patients.

Legislators will have until midnight on June 15 to finalize their negotiations with the governor and pass a budget.