Legislation

Legislation

AB 62: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently released a final rule requiring Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to establish a policy disallowing the use of prohibited tobacco products in all indoor areas of public housing.

AB 62 requires PHAs to implement a policy, by July 30, 2018, prohibiting smoking a tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, in all public housing living units and interior areas, as well as outdoor areas within 25 feet of public housing and administrative office buildings in which public housing is located.

AB 191: This bill reflects my ongoing commitment to improve access to mental health services, especially in our rural communities. Currently mental health facilities can hold patients who are determined to be a danger to themselves or others at the facility for observation. To legally execute this “mental health hold,” a physician and either a social worker or registered nurse must evaluate the patient and sign the appropriate documents. Unfortunately, in rural communities there may be a shortage of nurses and social workers. AB 191 would add Marriage and Family Therapists and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors to the list of professionals legally able to evaluate and sign mental health holds in addition to the physician.

AB 265: The cost of pharmaceuticals drugs has escalated year after year. Manufacturers use coupons and other discounts to promote the use of new and often expensive drugs by eliminating or reducing a patient’s out-of-pocket cost. Although reducing a patient’s out-of-pocket expenses is significant, it can inadvertently cause patients to use more expensive drugs when a less expensive one would treat their condition just as effectively. Unnecessarily using a higher priced drug will have the longer-term effect of increasing health care costs which will ultimately raise the cost of health insurance.

This bill would prohibit a drug manufacturer from offering any discount, rebate, repayment, product voucher or other reduction in an individual’s out-of-pocket expenses for any drug if a lower cost brand name or non-brand name drug is available that is therapeutically equivalent to, or interchangeable with, the drug or if the active ingredients of the drug are available without prescription at a lower cost. If there is only one drug that will work for a patient, a coupon or discount could still be utilized.

AB 275: Last year in Humboldt County several long-term care facilities threatened to close down on short notice and move its residents hundreds of miles away. To protect residents of long-term care facilities, this bill would increase the notice that facilities must provide before any changes, such as a closure, could occur. The bill would require a facility to provide 60 days’ notice to the affected residents and families and 60 days’ written notice to the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. The bill would also strengthen requirements to medically and socially assess residents in order to prevent or reduce transfer trauma and require facilities to provide information on the availability of alternative long-term care beds in the community, and the reason for the proposed closure. This information would be reported to the state Department of Public Health which would render a decision on whether the facility could implement the planned changes.

AB 315: Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) were initially formed approximately 40 years ago and used by insurance plans and other payers to manage their prescription drug plans and negotiate prices with drug companies. PBMs are currently not licensed or regulated, unlike pharmaceutical manufacturers, health plans, pharmacies and pharmacists.

Following a series of mergers and acquisitions, there are three PBMs that have nearly 80 percent of the market share with revenues exceeding $270 billion. Some are also merging with drug companies and large pharmacy chains and establishing their own specialty pharmacies.

Currently there is no way to assess how PBMs are negotiating with drug companies or health plans, nor is there a way to understand how rebates and discounts are applied, and whether the process is in the best interest of the consumer. This bill would require PBMs to be licensed and regulated to better understand how their business model works and the impact their services have on increasing drug prices.

AB 362: Many small nonindustrial forest land owners in California do not have the financial resources to consistently and effectively manage their land. Forests that are not consistently well managed can quickly become environmental hazards, pose catastrophic fire risks, produce blockages in fish bearing streams and exacerbate pest infestations.

An existing program, the California Forest Improvement Program (CFIP), gives the Director of Cal Fire the authority to pay for up to 90 percent of certain forestry work on small nonindustrial forest owner’s land. Unfortunately, because the program requires the land owner to pay for all of the work up front before submitting for reimbursement to Cal Fire, the program is still out of reach for many of our smaller landowners. AB 362 would require Cal Fire to provide landowners access to the funds for the work up front, ensuring that more of our forest lands will be effectively managed.

AB 420: As the state unveils the task of regulating the entire medical and nonmedical cannabis industry, an industry that has largely operated in an unregulated market for the past two decades, there needs to be assurances that a black market does not continue to flourish. Consumers should be afforded information to quickly and easily determine a licensed medical or nonmedical cannabis business from an illegal cannabis operator.

AB 420 requires any advertisement for sale of either medical or nonmedical cannabis or cannabis products to include the state license number of the licensee on the advertisement.

AB 583: Air ambulance services provide lifesaving emergency transportation to the most critical patients directly to trauma centers. In addition, emergency helicopter air ambulance providers provide a critical link between rural health facilities and urban hospitals. Some emergency patients transported by air ambulances have no insurance, are not eligible for Medi-Cal and have no ability to pay for the service, yet because of the existing revenue source, these patients are given the same high level care as those with medical insurance. AB 583 guarantees the state will continue to fund air ambulance services, ensuring anyone in need can access these crucial services, not just those who can afford it.

AB 595: California regulators should have clear authority to scrutinize proposed changes to the health insurance market and consider the impact of mergers on consumers and purchasers, and the health system as a whole. AB 595 would require health plans and insurers seeking to merge to file a new application for licensure. In reviewing the proposed merger, state regulators would be authorized to hold a public hearing; consider the short-term and long-term benefits, if any, to consumers and purchasers; assess whether the merger adversely affects competition; consider the impact on cost, quality and health disparities; and prepare an independent health care impact statement before they make a recommendation on the proposed merger.

AB 710: Current law requires boards within the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to meet at least three times each calendar year – at least once in northern California and once in southern California. Unfortunately, far too many times, board meetings do not take place in the rural parts of northern California.  

AB 710 requires boards within DCA to meet at least once every other year in rural northern California. This will ensure that our rural communities have a fair opportunity to have their voices heard at board meetings. 

AB 715: From 1999 to 2014, the amount of painkillers prescribed and sold has quadrupled, yet there has not been a measurable reduction in the amount of pain Americans report. Abuse of opioid medications has steadily increased in the past decade and we are now facing a crisis. AB 715 calls on the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to review the various existing guidelines and develop statewide recommended prescribing guidelines for opioids. The bill encourages CDPH to include stakeholders from a variety of disciplines who may have participated in the development of various existing guidelines related to opioid prescribing.

AB 845: Epilepsy is a medical condition that produces seizures affecting a variety of mental and physical functions. Approximately 1 in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing at least one cannabidiol (CBD) derived therapy that shows promise for the treatment of epilepsy. Once the FDA approves this therapy, the new treatment option could be available as soon as early 2018. Even with FDA approval, individual states would need to implement changes to state scheduling laws for these therapies to become available in the state. In California, the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act would have to be amended to conform to any changes from the FDA.

AB 845 will exempt any newly approved prescription medication that contains CBD and is controlled or decontrolled under a federal rule or interim rule. 

AB 911: As a dentist who practiced for almost 30 years, my practice had certain pieces of equipment, such as radiographic X-ray equipment, that caused my practice to be regulated and monitored by numerous state and federal agencies. I was recently made aware that bomb squads use tiny handheld X-ray devices to see inside suspicious packages. These devices are regulated by the FBI and California’s Department of Public Health (DPH). DPH treats them like the X-ray devices in commercial settings even though they are used in areas that are carefully  cordoned off from public exposure and where law enforcement personnel wear heavily protected garments. The DPH requirements are redundant and impractical and this bill would exempt this equipment from the DPH licensing requirements.

AB 980: Too many people in California, especially in rural areas, do not have access to a broadband connection. In addition to individual residents, entire towns, including schools, hospitals, libraries and city governments, have no access. This bill would require the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) install conduit in designated priority areas during planned road work, which can mitigate costs when cable is installed at a future date. Once the conduit is in the ground, installation costs of cable can be reduced to pennies on the dollar.

AB 1254: Currently, a cannabis cultivator who violates environmental protection laws may be penalized on a per-day violation basis when the violations occur on the land they own or lease; however, current law is silent as to whether violations are per-day when the cannabis cultivation is done without permission, i.e., in a “trespass grow” situation. Because of this anomaly in current law, otherwise-lawful cultivators are penalized more than those cultivating illegally.

In addition to those environmental violations, criminal theft of water from a river is not addressed under current law. As currently written, theft of water from a canal, ditch or reservoir can be criminally prosecuted, but not stealing water from a river.

AB 1254 establishes equitable penalties for individuals who commit environmental violations while cultivating controlled substances, regardless of whether that cultivation was lawful or unlawful. Additionally, the bill will expressly criminalize the theft of water from rivers for an unlawful purpose.

AB 1410: Beginning January 1, 2018, all licensed cannabis cultivators in California will be required to pay a tax on all harvested cannabis at a rate as follows: $9.25 per dry weight once on marijuana flower and $2.75 per dry weight once on marijuana leaves. The licensed cultivator is required to remit the cultivation tax obligation to the California Board of Equalization (BOE) after the marijuana is harvested. As the state and the BOE prepare to establish regulations to implement the new taxes mandated by Proposition 64, there needs to be careful consideration to ensure cannabis farmers are provided flexibility to help meet the new cultivation tax requirement. 

AB 1410 provides an option for licensed cannabis cultivator to remit the tax obligation on the harvested cannabis through a licensed distributor after the product completes the quality assurance, inspection and testing process.

AB 1433: California’s cap-and-trade program has proven to be a powerful tool in our fight against climate change. Unfortunately, we are missing a huge part of the climate change equation. Our natural and working lands have the potential to be enormous carbon sinks, effectively reducing and reversing the damage done by greenhouse gas emissions. Only about 2 percent of the revenue from cap-and-trade is invested in natural and working lands. This lack of investment is beginning to take a toll – the 100 million dead trees in our forests is a prime example. AB 1433 would direct 20 percent of cap-and-trade revenue to natural and working lands in an effort to ensure we maintain and restore our most important resources in our fight against climate change.

AB 1470: Since 1888, the City of Willits has served as the gateway that connected travelers driving north or south on US 101 Highway from San Francisco to Eureka, California. For well over a century, Willits served as the only service area within a 20-mile radius for travelers to refill their gas tanks, grab a burger or stretch their legs. In an attempt to alleviate traffic congestion, Caltrans started the construction of a freeway bypass east of Willits. The bypass has served its intended purpose of reducing traffic congestion, but has also adversely affected the local economy – local businesses have reported a 20- to 50-percent loss in revenue. 

AB 1470 is seeking to identify funds to help the local economy of Willits mitigate the immediate effects of the bypass, while also providing the city with an option to revitalize its business district.

Legislation

I authored the following legislation which was signed into law in 2016:

AB 72 – Health Care Coverage: Out-of-Network Coverage

This bill was authored by Asm. Jim Wood and five Democrats and Republicans. The bill will protect patients from the unfair practice of receiving surprise bills for healthcare when it was provided, unknowingly to the patient, by providers outside their health plan’s network.

For nearly 40 years patients covered by a health plan have carefully sought care from only those doctors and hospitals that are in their network; however, patients have continued to receive surprise bills, for instance, when they received care in an in-network hospital but received services from a lab or health care provider that was not in their network.

Under this law, patients will no longer be balance-billed and, as long as a patient is treated at an in-network facility, payment will be limited to the patient’s usual in-network share of cost – it will not matter that a particular provider was not in their network. Out-of-network doctors or other providers, such as labs, that operate at an in-network facility will be prohibited from billing patients any amount beyond the in-network rate. AB 72 sets up the reimbursement rates to these out-of-network providers at either the average contracted rate or 125 percent of the established Medicare amount, whichever is greater.

AB 21 – Medical Marijuana: Cultivation Licenses

The Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) required local jurisdictions to develop regulations for the cultivation of medical marijuana by March 1, 2016, or relinquish that authority to the state. Since MCRSA was signed by Governor Brown in October 2015, many cities and counties have not had enough time to meet that deadline and some, instead, have banned medical marijuana in order to “comply” with the March 1 requirement. In addition, MCRSA created the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation within the Department of Consumer Affairs, but that bureau only exists on paper and it will be many months before it has the capacity to develop and enforce statewide regulations. AB 21 removes the March 1 deadline completely and allows local jurisdictions more time to develop thoughtful regulations around the cultivation of medical marijuana. As a result, it ensures that patients and primary caregivers continue to have access to the medical cannabis they require.

AB 1262 – Telecommunications: Universal Service

Access to broadband technology is limited, inconsistent and sometimes completely unavailable to many of the remote areas of the state. To address this, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) administers the California Advance Services Fund (CASF) to encourage deployment of high-quality advanced communication services to all Californians. The Legislature initially approved a $10 million deposit into a fund so that communities could organize and apply for infrastructure projects that provide broadband access to households that are unserved or underserved.

This bill transfers $5 million from the Broadband Infrastructure Revolving Loan Account to the Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Grant Account, equivalent to approximately two additional years of funding to allow local experts and community leaders to continue working with telecommunication providers and key community stakeholders to promote access to broadband services.

AB 1549 – Department of Transportation: State Highway Rights-of-Way: Broadband: Fiber Optic Cables (Chapter 505, Statutes of 2016)

Currently, a central and statewide database of publicly owned network assets, such as fiber optic lines, broadband conduits or utility poles, does not exist in California; however, there are multiple public agencies that collect data on the broadband conduits that they own and/or manage, but the information is not centralized. For example, information regarding the location and management of a fiber optic cable within a conduit could be housed in multiple locations – a private broadband company, a municipal department or a state transportation agency. The lack of a central database creates unnecessary barriers to increasing the deployment of high-quality advanced communication services to all Californians. If a central database of broadband conduits existed or notification of the construction project was given, it would allow a broadband company to weigh the option of using existing resources, such as an existing conduit or joint trenching with Caltrans, before excavating the road unnecessarily.

This bill requires Caltrans to notify entities working on broadband deployment of upcoming Caltrans highway construction projects to encourage collaborative broadband conduit installation, and requires Caltrans to meet with stakeholders to discuss guidelines that would facilitate the installation of broadband conduit on state highway rights-of-way and report back to the Legislature by January 1, 2018.

AB 1808 – Minors: Mental Health Treatment or Counseling Services

Current law allows Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs), Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCCs) and, registered interns gaining hours toward LMFT or LPCC licensure, to provide mental health services to a minor, 12 years or older, in appropriate circumstances.

While registered LMFT and LPCC interns are listed as appropriate providers, LMFT and LPCC “trainees” are not included. This oversight negatively impacts the number of providers available to treat minors and contributes to the lack of mental health services available in schools. Additionally, this oversight limits the opportunities for trainees to gain the 3,000 hours of counseling experience needed to qualify to apply for licensure.

This bill permits trainees, working under the supervision of a LMFT or LPCC, to treat a minor under the same limited terms and conditions as interns. Trainees must be enrolled in a masters or doctoral program and must have completed at least 12 semester units in the postgraduate degree program.

AB 1863Medi-Cal: Federally Qualified Health Centers: Rural Health Centers

Currently, psychologists and license clinical social workers (LCSW) are employed by rural health clinics (RHCs) and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and these clinics can bill and receive reimbursement for their services from Medi-Cal. While clinics may employ a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), there is not a Medi-Cal reimbursement mechanism for them and this creates a disincentive for hiring. LMFTs are billable and recognized providers by Medi-Cal in other settings but not in RHCs or FQHCs.

Within the primary care setting, up to 26 percent of patients have some mental health disorder and while chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes are common among the general adult population, adults with mental health needs have a 1.5 times higher incidence of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease or asthma. This situation reinforces the value of integrating mental health services into the primary care settings of RHCs and FQHCs.

As part of California’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act, mental health and substance abuse disorder services were deemed an essential health benefit for Medi-Cal managed care plans. Along with the expansion of behavioral health benefits for Medi-Cal beneficiaries, there has been an increase in the number of patients qualified under Medi-Cal.

Adding LMFTs to the list of Medi-Cal billable providers will help to close existing gaps in workforce capacity by providing clinics with an adequate source of funding for their employment, which will also help meet the demand for mental health services, particularly in rural communities.

AB 1874 – Structural Pest Control

Current law requires that the structural pest control operator designated as the “qualifying manager” supervise the daily business of the company and be available to supervise and assist the company’s employees. Through enforcement activity, the Structural Pest Control Board became aware of the practice of operators “renting” their license where a registered company pays a recurring fee to an individual licensed as an operator and, in return, that individual will serve as the company’s qualifying manager without ever having any actual involvement with the company. This results in registered companies practicing structural pest control without the necessary supervision.

To strengthen consumer protection, this bill adds a requirement to existing law that structural pest control operators serving as qualifying managers be required to be physically present in the offices for a minimum of 9 days in every three consecutive calendar months. This requirement will help ensure that the companies performing structural pest control will have adequate supervision and improve consumer protection.

AB 1923Bioenergy Feed-in Tariff

Biomass power is a carbon neutral resource that is generated from recycling organic materials such as dead or decaying trees, wood byproducts and residuals and solid waste. These items are then efficiently combusted creating clean, renewable energy. The biomass process promotes healthy forests by managing diseased and overcrowded trees and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by replacing fossil-fuel-fired generators with renewable generators. It also provides quality employment opportunities in economically challenged rural areas of California and can provide a significant source of property tax and other local revenues that, in turn, can support local services.

Current law requires investor-owned utilities to purchase a cumulative 250 megawatts from qualifying bio-energy projects but the generating facility must have an “effective capacity of not more than three megawatts.” Many biomass producers prefer to operate at a 5-megawatt capacity because it is more cost-effective, and this bill allows utilities to purchase from those with a capacity of up to 5 megawatts as long as the facility delivers no more than 3 megawatts to the grid. The excess power generated can be used on site to lower energy costs of the facility. As a result of this new law, one new biomass facility is already planned to open in Fortuna, CA.

AB 1958 – Forestry: Timberlands: Restoration and Conservation Forest Management Activities

Oak woodlands play an important role in sustaining healthy ecosystems across California. They retain soils, purify air, conserve water, and serve as excellent environments for grazing and hunting and provide food and cover for a wide range of wildlife, including many game species.

Conifers are encroaching on these oak woodlands and are growing over oak trees, shading them and jeopardizing the oaks ability to survive and regenerate. In recent years there have been considerable efforts to preserve and restore oak woodlands across the state; however, efforts to reverse conifer encroachment can be very expensive and are being hindered by certain prohibitive forestry policies.

This bill clarifies that removing conifers in order to restore oak woodlands is not a conversion from timberland and therefore does not require the very costly conversion permit as defined in the forest practice act. AB 1958 also provides a narrow timber harvest exemption for qualifying land owners to sell the conifers they remove during the restoration of oak woodlands, helping to offset the cost of this very expensive work.

AB 1977 – Tribal Gaming: Compact Amendment Ratification

Existing law allows for a state and Indian tribes to enter into negotiations of tribal-state gaming compacts. This bill ratified the tribal-state gaming compact entered into between the State of California and the Yurok Tribe executed on August 4, 2016. Specifically, this revised compact aligns the Yurok Tribe’s workers’ compensation provisions to other tribes in California. Before the revision was made, the Yurok Tribe was considering closing down the Redwood Hotel Casino which would have resulted in hundreds of lost jobs. The Yurok tribe is well represented on the North Coast and provides quality employment and economic opportunity to the surrounding area. Read the press release here.

AB 2024 – Critical Access Hospitals: Employment

Current law prohibits hospitals from employing physicians with the exception of county, charitable and teaching hospitals. These restrictions are a significant barrier to adequately staffing small rural hospitals. AB 2024 authorizes, until January 1, 2024, a federally certified Critical Access Hospital (CAH) to employ physicians and bill for their services.

CAHs are defined by the federal government as small (25 beds or less) and must be located in rural areas. These hospitals suffer significant challenges in meeting their staffing needs for physicians because there are not enough physicians practicing in the community to recruit from. Being a physician in private practice in these communities is often not financially feasible; however, recent studies show that many physicians are attracted to the economic and financial stability of being employed by a hospital. This bill creates an opportunity for these small hospitals to recruit physicians as employees which can improve access for the patients in the community.

AB 2207Medi-Cal: Dental Program

The Denti-Cal system is so broken that many dentists provide pro-bono care rather than participate in the program. Findings by the Little Hoover Commission, published in April 2016, provided scathing criticism of the system, including limited coverage for procedures, low utilization rates, some of the lowest provider reimbursement rates in the nation and an oppressive and bureaucratic administration system.

To address these shortcomings, this bill requires the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to implement an expedited provider enrollment process, report utilization data more often and look for opportunities to increase patient utilization. For example, increasing utilization of preventive services, currently only 14 percent of all services provided, can provide long-term benefits to patients by preventing more serious dental disease and has the potential to save money in the state’s Denti-Cal budget by eventually shifting care away from more costly care.

Much still needs to be done to improve the Denti-Cal program. This bill is a start by requiring DHCS to fix some of the barriers that prevent dentists from being able to treat the program’s beneficiaries.

AB 2516 – Medical Cannabis: State Cultivator License Types: Specialty Cottage Type

The Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) provides for the licensure of commercial medical cannabis activities. MCRSA establishes various types of state cultivator licenses and tasks the California Department of Food and Agriculture with issuing licenses to qualified applicants.

Ensuring that regulations are fair and reasonable for all is essential to bringing farmers into compliance. This law specifically addresses the small medical cannabis growers to ensure that they can comply with regulations and requires the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to develop regulations for 2018 that address the unique characteristics of small farm practices.

The technical requirements for the new license type 1C, or specialty cottage cultivator license, are for farms with 2,500 square feet or less of total canopy size for mixed-light cultivation, up to 25 mature plants for outdoor cultivation, or 500 square feet or less of total canopy size for indoor cultivation, on one premises. CDFA will issue the licenses to qualified candidates as well as develop the requirements for each license type.

AB 2615 – After-School Programs (Chapter 470, Statutes of 2016)

Under current law, the California Department of Education is responsible in overseeing and administering funds to school districts for the After School Education and Safety Program. The program provides school districts with after-school funding to ensure that students have an after-school alternative, especially critical for students in need of academic assistance or to provide for a safe and social after-school environment.

The current distribution of funds unjustly favors areas with higher population densities and places rural schools at a significant disadvantage. Larger school districts often have staff dedicated to coordinating and writing applications for these funds, putting small rural schools at a competitive disadvantage. This law will provide a more equitable grant application process and distribution of after-school program funding in each geographic region ensuring rural schools can access their fair share of funding.

2015 Legislation

I authored the following legislation which was signed into law in 2015:

AB 81 – Frank Howard Hospital

This bill extends the seismic safety deadline for the Frank Howard Memorial Hospital (HMH) in Willits, California to September 1, 2015. This extension allowed Frank Howard Hospital continue serving patients while construction was completed on the new hospital building that is now serving patients in the Norther Mendocino County Area.

AB 143 – Food in Small Wineries

This bill eliminates the need to obtain a local food permit for wineries that serve pretzels or other specified items such as vacuumed-sealed snacks or foods instead, in addition to crackers. The bill also eliminates the need for wineries to obtain a local food permit if they maintain no more than a 25-square-foot retail display of packaged foods.

AB 243 – Marijuana Watershed Protection Act

This bill is part of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) which together has created the most robust medical cannabis framework in the country. Specifically AB 243 requires all nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards to develop environmental protections to address wastewater discharges from medical marijuana farms and created the permanent Watershed Enforcement Team (WET) designed to protect these valuable resources It also eliminates the legal grey area for cannabis famers by creating a licensing structure that ensures that medical marijuana farms use best practices while cultivating and will protect the environment.

AB 325 -- Access to the Community Development Block Grant

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program provides millions of federal dollars to rural communities in California. This bill streamlines the program and cuts red tape at the state level. AB 325 requires the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to respond to completed grant applications within 60 days. If the applicant is denied by the state agency, this bill requires HCD to list the reasons for denial and what steps need to be taken for approval.

AB 644 – Subdivision Findings Waiver

This bill makes it more affordable for land owners to keep their property as open space and resist the increasing pressure to increase development on their land. This bill creates an exemption for subdivided properties that will remain open space or resource management land. These properties are now exempt from the expensive finding process of the Subdivision Map Act as long as no residential structures are built on the newly subdivided property.

AB 707 – Williamson Act – Cancellation Fees

This bill repeals the ability for a landowner and the Department of Conservation to cut out local municipalities from negotiating a cancellation of the Williamson Act.

AB 941 – Tribal Health Clinics

This bill exempts clinics operated by a tribe or tribal organization, regardless if the clinic is located on tribal land, from obtaining a license from Department of Public Health. These health clinics would operate under a contract with the United States pursuant to the Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act. This bill will help increase access to health clinics throughout the state, especially in rural areas of California.

AB 1149 – Emergency Medical Preparedness

The Hospital Preparedness Program trains medical staff how to respond when a natural disaster or public health emergency hits. This bill removed a legal barrier that prevented trade associations from helping to administer the training.

AB 1262 – Rural Broadband

This bill transfers $5 million from the Broadband Infrastructure Revolving Loan Account to the Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Grant Account and provides approximately two additional years of funding to continue working with telecommunication providers and key community stakeholders to promote California Advanced Services Fund for years to come.