Advancing Important Legislation

This year, the “House of Origin Deadline” was June 2nd, the final day for bills to pass the house in which they were first introduced. Any bills that failed to pass by the deadline have died.

Legislation that made it through included AB 1741, which I introduced to help solve the shortage of clinical laboratory personnel that has impacted test processing for patients here locally and throughout California. The bill passed without opposition and expands the duties that unlicensed personnel who meet specified education/training criteria can perform under direct supervision of licensed personnel. Another health-related bill, SB 90, which I co-authored with Senator Weiner, caps co-pays for insulin at $35 for a 30 day supply. SB 90 passed the Senate unanimously. Another bipartisan bill, AB 1399, coauthored with Assemblymembers Friedman and Lowenthal, expands the ability of veterinarians to provide animal care via telehealth, when appropriate.

In 2021, fentanyl overdoses caused 5,722 deaths in California. Fortunately, two bills I co-authored dealing with this deadly scourge passed before the deadline. AB 33 (Bains) sets up a Fentanyl Addiction and Overdose Prevention Task Force consisting of representatives from law enforcement, the health sector and government to develop fentanyl policy recommendations for the state. AB 474 (Rodriguez) creates a Threat Assessment Center to prioritize cooperation with state and local efforts to disrupt and dismantle criminal networks that traffic in opioids. Both bills passed without opposition.

Given our region’s vulnerability to wildfires, drought and diminishing groundwater resources, I supported AB 1567 (Garcia and others), which, if approved by voters, will finance projects involving wildfire prevention, drought preparation, flood protection, sustainable ground water, dam safety and tribal water infrastructure projects. This bipartisan bill also passed without any opposing votes.

Contentious issues in Sacramento generate headlines, but that doesn’t keep legislators on both sides of the aisle from coming together to pass legislation that benefits all Californians.