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Legislation that CWL will be supporting and/or following re: Sexual Assault Victims

posted Jun 3, 2014, 8:38 PM by WLA SLO   [ updated Jun 3, 2014, 8:50 PM ]
AB 1517 (An act to amend Section 680 of the Penal Code relating to DNA evidence [for sexual assault victims]) AB 1517 would "encourage a law enforcement agency to submit sexual assault forensic evidence to the crime lab as soon as practically possible, but no later than five days after being booked into evidence." The crime lab would upload qualifying DNA profiles into the Combined DNA Index System as soon as practically possible, but no later than 30 days after the evidence is submitted by a law enforcement agency, to ensure the longest possible statute of limitations. (Supported by Alameda County).(Support for this Bill was requested by Nancy O'Malley).

The committee recommends this be Priority A.

SB 400 (Domestic Violence: Employment Protection). Protects the employment rights of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Prevents employers from firing or otherwise discriminating against an employee b/c of their known status as a victim; requires employer to provide reasonable safety accommodations to victims, prohibits discrimination or retaliation for employee requesting accommodation. Supported by Legal Aid Society- Employment Law Center; California Partner to End Domestic Violence and California Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

The committee recommends this be Priority A.

SB 477 (Foreign Labor Recruitment Bill)  a measure that would protect documented foreign workers from abuse and human trafficking by banning foreign labor contractors from charging workers recruitment fees and requiring full disclosure of employment conditions. This is a revised version of SB 516 from last year, which the LegComm and ExComm already approved backing. Supported by ATEST (Alliance to End Slavery & Trafficking) (Support for this Bill was requested by Sandra Fluke).

The committee recommends this be Priority B.

SB 899 (CalWORKs: eligibility)  Protects newborn's health and safety while prohibit the state from inserting itself into the private reproductive and medical decisions of families just because they are poor. Support from Western Center on Law and Poverty (co-sponsor); ACCESS Women's Health Justice (co-sponsor); East Bay Community Law Center (co-sponsor), ACLU of CA (co-sponsor); California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CRLJ)(co-sponsor); California Welfare Director's Association (CWDA) (co-sponsor).(Support for this Bill was requested by Sandra Fluke).
The committee recommends this be Priority B.

SB 939 This would streamline prosecution of human trafficking charges and help victims avoid the trauma of testifying in multiple jurisdictions against their traffickers. It would permit the consolidation of serial human trafficking, pimping and pandering charges into a single trial if all the involved jurisdictions agree. (Co-sponsored by the DAs of Riverside, San Diego, Alameda and Orange Counties).

This committee recommends this be Priority B.

AB 296 Similar to accommodations made to Corporate Counsel, this bill would allow military spouse attorneys to be allowed to practice law on a limited basis in states to which they are relocated due to their spouse's service. This Bill was introduced last year. Current status is unknown, however Military Spouse JD Network recently requested, and received, a letter in support of this bill from CWL. Thus, we should likely keep an eye on it.

The committee recommends this be  Priority C.

Additionally our friends over at Planned Parenthood have also recommended the following, which, if we decided to support, the committee recommends as Priority B.

AB 1755 (Gomez  D-) Medical Information Breach Notification PPAC is co-sponsoring AB 1755 with the California Medical Association. This bill will improve California's notice requirement specific to breaches of medical information by aligning it more closely with federal regulations, which were adopted in January 2013.  It would clarify what must be reported, change the timing of the notification to "as soon as reasonably possible but no later than 60 calendar days after discovery of the breach," and given the sensitivity of medical information, ensure that patients have the option of designating an alternate address where notice may be sent or received. Making state law requirements consistent with federal regulations will create one clear, objective standard for medical information breach notifications. This will ensure patients are adequately alerted to serious medical information breaches and streamline requirements on health facilities, saving healthcare costs and allowing health care providers to put those resources back into patient care.

AB 1841 (Mullin D-) Medical Assistants
PPAC is sponsoring AB 1841, which would increase and improve patient access to care by expanding the duties of medical assistants to authorize them to hand over pre-labled, pre-packaged medications, except for controlled substances.  While a minor change in an MA's duties, it will reduce waiting times, expand access, and improve patient satisfaction in community clinics like those operated by Planned Parenthood. Expanding access to care is especially important as Planned Parenthood, along with all other health care providers, adapt to serve the millions of new patients who now  have health coverage under ACA.

AB 1805 (Skinner & Pan - D) Medi-cal Reimbursment Rate Restoration AB 1805 is a top priority for PPAC. This measure will repeal the cuts enacted in the 2011-12 state budget,  which reduced payments to Medi-Cal providers by 10 percent. These cuts were made during the state's worst recession in decades and now that California is in a stronger financial position, it is time to restore the reimbursement rates for the program that serves the poorest of Californians. By restoring the Medi Cal reimbursement rates, the state will ensure more women and men will have more access to preventive services offered at Planned Parenthood health centers and other health care providers throughout California.

AB 1759 (Pan- D) Primary Care Rate Increase PPAC supports AB 1759, which would extend indefinitely  an increase in the primary care provider rate, which was included in the ACA, but which is set to expire at the end of 2014. Recognizing that low Medicaid reimbursement rates contribute to low provider participation, the ACA sought to encourage provider participation by increasing the Medicaid reimbursement rate for primary care services. Maintaining this increase is vital to encouraging and supporting the participation of primary care providers like community clinics in the Medi-Cal program.