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CAPITOL UPDATE #37 September 29, 2022

 September 29, 2022

California Federation of Republican Women
Janet Price, President

        Submitted by the CFRW Legislative Analyst Committee        
Karen Contreras, Elaine Freeman, 
 Theresa Speake, and Cheryl Sullivan

AB 351 Reduction of human remains and disposition of reduced human remains – This bill, commencing January 1, 2027, would require the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau within the Department of Consumer Affairs to license and regulate reduction facilities and would enact requirements applicable to reduction facilities substantially similar to those applicable to  crematoria and hydrolysis facilities, and would enact provisions relating to the disposition of human remains and creating new crimes, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

This bill would require the State Department of Public Health to adopt rules and regulations prescribing the standards for reduction chamber to preserve the public health and safety and to ensure the destruction of pathogenic microorganisms.  This bill, commencing 1/1/27, would require reduction chamber manufacturers to apply to the State Department of Public Health for approval of reduction chambers for use in the State and to charge a reduction chamber manufacturer a regulatory fee for the evaluation of a reduction chamber as specified. 

The bill prohibits the use of a non-approved reduction chamber by a reduction facility or its employees.  To clarify, this bill, signed by the Governor, is a new method of dealing with human remains.  They can now be put back into the soil as a soil amendment.  Interesting!

AB 858 Employment: health information technology: clinical practice guidelines: worker rights  Existing law charges the Labor Commissioner with enforcement of various labor laws, including investigation of employee complaints. Existing law establishes the State Department of Public Health and sets forth its powers and duties relating to the licensure and regulation of health facilities, as defined. This bill would provide that the use of technology shall not limit a worker who is providing direct patient care from exercising independent clinical judgment in the assessment, evaluation, planning, and implementation of care, nor from acting as a patient advocate.

The bill would define “technology” for these purposes to mean scientific hardware or software, including algorithms derived from the use of health care related data, used to achieve a medical or nursing care objective at a general acute care hospital.  It is the intent of the Legislature that health information technology, clinical practice guidelines, or algorithms shall not limit the effective exercise of, or be a substitute for, the professional judgment of workers providing direct patient care. This is crucial to protect millions of patients’ safety in interacting with a deeply flawed medical technological system, that among many issues, has shown their commercial algorithms exhibit significant racial bias. 

This bill would prohibit a general acute care hospital employer from retaliating or otherwise discriminating against a worker providing direct patient care who requests to override health information technology and clinical practice guidelines or discusses these issues with other employees or supervisors. This bill would require a general acute care hospital to ensure that appropriate education or training be provided to workers providing direct patient care for purposes of educating or training those workers on how to utilize the new technology and to understand its limitations.

Vetoed by Governor

For further information on any of the bills mentioned here, click on the bill # highlighted in the body of the above articles.

Find/contact your local Legislators, click HERE to inquire about or let them know your opinion about bills or issues.

To contact your U.S. Representatives, call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121

Listen to hearings on bills that interest you –  Calif. Legislative Portal links- Express your support or opposition to a bill or directly to the Legislative committee currently reviewing it (as an individual, not as a member of RWF or CFRW)– click here, or the bill’s author- click here, enter your bill # and look for tab at top of the bill page labeled “Comments to Author

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