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Assemblymember Holden’s Equity Bills Clear Committee

Legislation to reduce exposure of lead, regulate automatic prescription drug refills

Published on Thursday, June 4, 2020 | 3:45 pm

Four bills by Assemblyman, and former Pasadena City Councilman, Chris Holden cleared the California State Assembly Appropriations Committee.

The legislation includes two California Legislative Black Caucus backed bills: Assembly Bill 1994 that would expand access to health-care services to juveniles upon release from a public institution, and AB 2019 that would increase access to community college courses for students in juvenile court schools and alternative schools.

AB 2060 would reduce exposure to lead from drinking water, and AB 2983 would strengthen regulations around automatic refills for prescription medication also passed.

Holden’s legislation that would increase funding Developmental Disability Service Providers was incorporated into the legislature’s final budget proposal.

AB 1994 would make healthcare more accessible for juvenile inmates coming out of incarceration by prohibiting the termination of Medi-Cal benefits for those who are eligible. The process of requiring newly released juvenile inmates to reapply for care exacerbates the already difficult position of reintegrating into their communities.

“Continuity of care is critical for improving health outcomes for vulnerable populations, decreasing need for costlier health care services later down the road, and increasing rates of successful community reintegration,” said Holden.

Expanding access to dual enrollment programs continues to be a top priority for Holden since he first established the College and Career Access Pathways Act in 2015 (AB 288). Students in juvenile court schools, like foster and homeless youth, experience high rates of educational instability, and are likely to be behind in credits. In an effort not to exclude any students from dual enrollment opportunities, Holden introduced AB 2019 to allow students in juvenile court schools to access the benefits of dual enrollment programs.

“Dual enrollment increases the number of college graduates, reduces time and money spent for college, and helps close the achievement gap,” said Holden. “These opportunities must be available for all Californians.”

AB 2060 tightens the maximum amount of lead that can leach from faucets by five times. The bill effectively removes poor performers from the market so schools, child care centers, and consumers can buy new faucets and other fixtures without worry.
AB 2983 strengthens regulations around automatic refills for prescription medication that can lead to improper practice of medicine. The bill would stop pharmacies from automatically requesting prescription refills that change what the doctor ordered. The purpose of the legislation is to ensure that the practice of automatic refills is not driven by economic incentive but instead focuses on what’s best for the patient.

Earlier this year, Holden introduced Assembly Bill 2024 to create a streamlined and fair process to adjust rates of providers of Developmental Disability services, and replaces the current burdensome process that has undermined the provision of services in California’s high population centers. While the legislation did not get a vote in the Assembly, the change has been incorporated into the budget proposal agreed upon by the Senate and Assembly Wednesday.

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