Legislative News … Daniel Nnorth and Claudia Schott

The California Legislature closed on September 13th and the Governor has until October 10th to sign the bills into law.  Please call the Governor before the 9th to sign the following into law:

AB 279 – would prohibit, until July 1, 2022, an Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF) or Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF), as defined, from terminating or making significant quality-of-care changes to its skilled nursing or supportive care services, or from transferring a resident to another ICF or SNF, during any declared state of emergency relating to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), except if the owner files a bankruptcy petition.

AB 74 – requires a facility to submit to the department specified information on its medical director on an initial application, and to notify the department of any changes in its medical director within 10 calendar days of those changes, as specified.  The bill would require a facility to report to the department proof of, or progress toward, certification for its medical director and expands the scope of an existing crime, which would impose a state-mandated local program.

AB 849 – authorizes the legal representative, personal representative, or successor in interest of a current or former resident or patient of a skilled nursing facility or intermediate care facility to bring a civil action.  The bill, for violations that occur on or after March 1, 2021, would make the licensee liable for up to $500 per violation and would prescribe required factors to be considered in assessing the amount of the damages, including, among others, the nature and seriousness of each violation.

AB 323 – redefines a class “AA” violation as a class “A” violation that the department determines to have been a substantial factor, as described, in the death of a resident of a long-term health care facility.  The bill would increase the civil penalties for a class “A,” “AA,” or “B” violation by a skilled nursing facility or intermediate care facility, as specified.

AB 1042 – authorizes investigation or inspection of long-term nursing facilities for the protection of safety and health, as prescribed.  OSHA, in this regard, authorizes the chief or their authorized representative, as applicable, to obtain warrants, issue subpoenas, and issue orders, as prescribed.

SB 650 – requires an organization that operates, conducts, owns, manages, or maintains a skilled nursing facility or facilities to prepare and file with the office an annual consolidated financial report that includes data from all operating entities, license-holders, and related parties in which the organization has an ownership or control interest of 5% or more and that provides any service, facility, or supply to the skilled nursing facility.

IN OTHER NEWS: SB 9 and SB 10 were signed into law by Governor Newsom on September 16th.  These two will change the landscape of the single-family dwelling neighborhood, especially those that have more than an 8th of an acre or more.

SB 9 streamlines the process for an owner to subdivide an existing single-family residential lot to create a duplex and/or allow for new infill construction.

SB 10 establishes enabling legislation for jurisdictions that want to opt in and up-zone urbanized areas close to transit, allowing up to 10 units per parcel without any CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) oversight.

In Washington:

President Biden met with members of the House and Senate to discuss the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill.  This also ties in with the new budget for 2022 and the debt ceiling.

Watch for your local health system and/or county health director’s guidance for:

Who should get a booster shot?

Who should wear a mask?  Where, when, indoors or outdoors?

The rules keep changing.