The California Legislature is now in the last month of the legislative session for the year. August 31st is the last day for bills to be passed and sent to the Governor who will have until September 30th to sign or veto all bills that reach his desk. All bills that are moving are in the opposite house, either in the fiscal committee (Senate or Assembly Appropriations) or on the Senate or Assembly Floor. At NASW-CA we are still advocating for 150 bills that are in the end stages of the legislative process.
Two of our April Lobby Day bills were funded in the recently enacted state budget. Because of this funding, both AB 1900 (Arambula) and AB 2222 (Reyes) are no longer needed since both issues were won in the State Budget. Unfortunately, AB 1816 was not funded in the budget, but the bill is in the Senate Appropriations Committee where we hope to secure funding. Updates on all bills we have reported on previously are outlined below.
2022 Lobby Day Bills
- AB 1816 (Bryan) – Provides grants for innovative or evidence-based housing, housing-based services, and employment interventions to allow people with recent histories of incarceration to exit homelessness and remain housed. Status: In the Senate Appropriations Committee.
- AB 1900 (Arambula) – Helps low-income older adults and people with disabilities by raising the amount people can retain for basic needs from $600 to 138% of the poverty level in Medi-Cal. Status: Bill is no longer needed because the state budget funded this proposal.
- AB 2222 ( Reyes) – Provides up to $20,000 annually to social work students who commit to working for at least two years at a California based nonprofit upon completion of their graduate school program. The program prioritizes students with lived experiences as former foster and homeless youth to pursue licensure as an LCSW. Status: Bill may no longer be needed because the state budget funded this proposal.
Other Support Bills
- AB 1758 (Aguiar-Curry) Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) sponsored legislation to allow remote supervision in all work settings. Status: On the Senate Floor. This is an urgency measure which will go into effect immediately once it is signed by the Governor. The current remote supervision waiver has been extended until August 31, 2022. Learn more here.
- AB 1860 (Ward) – Would exempt social work graduate student interns who are completing their supervised practicum hours in a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) setting from the requirement to register with a SUD counselor certifying organization. Status: In Senate Appropriations.
- AB 2581 (Salas) – Would require a health care service plan or disability insurer that provides coverage for mental health and substance use disorders and credentials health care providers of those services, to assess and verify the qualifications of a health care provider within 60 days after receiving a completed provider credentialing application. Status: In Senate Appropriations Committee.
- AB 2666 (Salas) – This bill, subject to an appropriation, would establish and administer a grant program to allocate funding in the form of stipends, to students in behavioral health fields of study and practice, who are participating in internships or completing licensure hours, through unpaid positions, at federally qualified health centers. Status: In Senate Appropriations Committee.
- SB 964 (Wiener) – Creates a stipend program for MSW students with a focus on public behavioral health. The bill also looks to develop more accelerated social work programs to get more social workers into the field quickly. Status: In Assembly Appropriations Committee. The author took our amendments to ensure that new accelerated social work programs meet CSWE accreditation standards.
- SB 1002 (Portantino) – Under Worker’s Compensation, this bill enables employees to seek mental health care services from a LCSW without physician referral and authorizes medical provider networks to add LCSWs as providers. Status: On the Assembly Floor.
- SB 1229 (McGuire) – Establishes a program to provide 10,000 grants of up to $25,000 each for students pursuing MSWs, MFTs, MA in Psychology, MA in School Counseling, or MA in School Psychology with the goal to increase the number of behavioral health professionals serving children and youth at California public schools and in community-based organizations. Status: This bill is no longer needed as the funding was included in the enacted State Budget.