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2020 Bills of Interest to PPAC Members

PPAC advocates have a leadership position in guiding mental health legislation and policies that best serve California's diverse population. Through collaboration with our physician members and ongoing communication with state legislators, agencies, and stakeholders, PPAC develops policy and legislative positions that impact the delivery of mental health care in California. In Sacramento, it's our job to inform policymakers about the positions we adopt, to advocate  for or oppose legislation, and to educate officials and the public about the delivery of mental health programs. Our alliance influences mental health policy throughout the State of California and the nation.

By March 2020 more than 2500 bills had been introduced in the California State Assembly and Senate.  That same month, COVID-19 changed how the Legislature would do business for the remainder of the year. It was clear that committees could not hear all the bills introduced, and consequently hundreds of proposed bills were sidelines indefinitely.

Below you will find legislation of interest to PPAC members that survived the massive cuts, the status of the legislation and proposed schedules.



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AB 890 (Wood D)   Nurse practitioners: scope of practice: practice without standardized procedures. Location: 9/14/2020-A. ENROLLED /                                        

Notes: The bill would authorize a nurse practitioner who meets certain education, experience, and certification requirements to perform, in certain settings or organizations, specified functions without standardized procedures, including ordering, performing, and interpreting diagnostic procedures, certifying disability, and prescribing, administering, dispensing, and furnishing controlled substances.


AB 1304 (Waldron R) California MAT Re-Entry Incentive Program.

Location: 9/14/2020-A. ENROLLED                                        

Notes: would establish the California MAT Re-Entry Incentive Program, which would make a person released from prison on parole, with specified exceptions, who has been enrolled in, or successfully completed, an institutional substance abuse program, eligible for a reduction in the period of parole if the person successfully participates in a substance abuse treatment program.


AB 197(Eggman D)  Mental health services: assisted outpatient treatment.

Location: 9/10/2020-A. ENROLLED 

Notes: requires a county or group of counties to offer this mental health programs unless a county or group of counties opts out by a resolution passed by the governing body stating the reasons for opting out and any facts or circumstances relied on in making that decision. The bill would also authorize a county to instead offer those mental health programs in combination with one or more counties.


AB 1979 (Friedman D)   Foster youth: housing.

Location: 9/10/2020-A. ENROLLED                 

Notes: require a county placement agency to conduct an evaluation of the county’s placement resources and programs in relation to the needs of nonminor dependents and to examine its ability to meet the emergency housing needs of nonminor dependents.


AB 2015 (Eggman D)   Certification for intensive treatment: review hearing.

Location: 8/18/2020-S. DEAD              

Notes: This bill would authorize the evidence presented in support of the certification decision to include information regarding the person’s medical condition, as defined, and how that condition bears on certifying the person as a danger to themselves or to others or as gravely disabled. The bill would require the hearing officer to consider the information in the determination of probable cause.


AB 2025 (Gipson D) Mental illness and substance use disorder: restorative care program: pilot projects.

Location: 8/31/2020-S. DEAD                                   


AB 2112 (Ramos D)   Suicide prevention.

Location: 9/15/2020-A. ENROLLED                                                   

Notes: Would establish the Office of Suicide Prevention providing strategic guidance to statewide and regional partners regarding best practices on suicide prevention and reporting to the Legislature on progress to reduce rates of suicide. The bill would require the office to consult with the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission to implement suicide prevention efforts and would require the commission to transfer its suicide prevention contracts to the office.

 AB 2265 (Quirk-Silva D)   Mental Health Services Act: use of funds for substance use disorder treatment.

 Location: 9/10/2020-A. ENROLLED 

Notes: Would authorize funding from the Mental Health Services Act, to be used to treat a person with cooccurring mental health and substance use disorders when the person would be eligible for treatment of the mental health disorder pursuant to the MHSA.


AB 2360 (Maienschein D)   Telehealth: mental health.

Location: 9/11/2020-A. ENROLLED  

Notes: Would require health care service plans and health insurers to provide access to a telehealth consultation program for providers who treat children and pregnant and certain postpartum persons with access to a mental health consultation program. The bill would require the consultation by a mental health clinician with expertise appropriate for pregnant, postpartum, and pediatric patients to be conducted by telephone or telehealth video, and to include guidance on the range of evidence-based treatment options, screening tools, and referrals.


AB 2644 (Wood D)   Skilled nursing facilities: deaths: reporting.

Location: 8/31/2020-A. ENROLLED 

Notes: Would require a skilled nursing facility to report each disease-related death and suspected disease-related death to the State Department of Public Health within 24 hours of that death. The bill would also require a skilled nursing facility to notify residents and their representatives about cases of communicable diseases, in compliance with state and federal privacy laws. The bill would require the State Department of Public Health to report certain information related to those deaths on its internet website on a weekly basis.


AB 3242 (Irwin D)   Mental health: involuntary commitment.

Location: 9/15/2020-A. ENROLLED 

Notes: The Lanterman-Petris-Short Act authorizes the involuntary commitment and treatment of persons with specified mental health disorders for the protection of the persons so committed. Under the act, if a person, as a result of a mental health disorder, is a danger to others, or to themselves, or is gravely disabled, the person may, upon probable cause, be taken into custody for a period of up to 72 hours for assessment, evaluation, and crisis intervention, or placement for evaluation and treatment. This bill clarifies that the assessment or evaluation may be conducted by Telehealt.

SB 665 (Umberg D)   Mental Health Services Fund: county jails.

Location: 8/31/2020-A. DEAD 

Notes: Would establish the Jail-Based Community Mental Health Innovation Program (JBCMHIP). The program would authorize up to 8 counties, including Orange County, with approval from the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, to use MHSA funds to establish county JBCMHIPs to introduce innovative approaches to meet the mental health needs of persons in jail, including persons who have been convicted of a felony and sentenced to imprisonment in a county jail.


SB 803 (Beall D)  Mental health services: peer support specialist certification.

Location: 9/10/2020-S. ENROLLED 

Notes: This bill would establish a peer support specialist certification program administered by the state for the benefit of Medi-Cal patients receiving specialty mental health services.


SB 855 (Wiener D)   Health coverage: mental health or substance use disorders.

Location: 9/9/2020-S. ENROLLED

Notes: The California Mental Health Parity Act requires every health care service plan contract or disability insurance policy to provide coverage for the diagnosis and medically necessary treatment of severe mental illnesses of a person of any age, and of serious emotional disturbances of a child under the same terms and conditions applied to other medical conditions. This bill would revise and recast those provisions, and would require a health care service plan to provide coverage for medically necessary treatment of mental health and substance use disorders, as defined, under the same terms and conditions applied to other medical conditions. It would also specify the criteria for a uniform medical necessity criterion for all health plans and insurers.

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