Legislation

Understanding the regulations and laws that guide and impact the Commission

Legislative Session 2023-2024

AB 10 (Lowenthal): Pupils: Body Shaming Model Policy and Resources – Chapter 791, Statutes of 2023

This bill would require the State Department of Education to, on or before June 30, 2025, and in consultation with specified entities and relevant stakeholders, including the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, to develop and post on its internet website a model policy and resources about body shaming and would encourage school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to inform teachers, staff, parents, and pupils about those resources.

AB 283 (Patterson): Mental Health Commission – Geographic Representation – 2-year bill

This bill urges the Governor to consider ensuring geographic representations among the 10 geographic regions of California as defined by the 2020 census when making appointments to the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission.

AB 289 (Holden): Mental Health Services – Representation – Chapter 518, Statutes of 2023

This bill requires a county that is developing a three-year plan and annual updates under the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) to include among the stakeholders in its development efforts youth or youth mental health organizations and individuals representing diverse viewpoints, including youth from historically marginalized communities, representatives from organizations specializing in working with underserved and racially and ethnically diverse communities, and representatives from LGBTQ+ communities.

AB 599 (Ward) Suspensions and Expulsions – 2-year bill – SUPPORT

This bill would require the California Department of Education (CDE) to establish a public health framework for identifying and referring youth with substance use needs to community-based services, including mechanisms for screening/referral, education on overdose risk, training of school staff, and connecting with local community-based providers.

AB 657 (Jackson): Mental Health Services Funding Act – 2-year bill

This bill would enact the Mental Health Services Funding Act that would require a distributor to pay a tax upon the distributor’s distributions of candy at the rate of $0.05 for each untaxed candy distributed and require all revenues, interest, and penalties, less refunds, collected from the candy tax to be deposited into the Candy Tax Fund, a continuously appropriated fund created by the bill, and would require all amounts in the fund to be distributed to the Mental Health Services Fund.

AB 820 (Reyes): State Boards and Commissions – Seniors – 2-year bill

This bill would expand the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission membership to include a representative of an organization that serves or advocates for older adults.

AB 845 (Alvarez): Behavioral Health – Older Adults – Died

This bill would establish within the State Department of Health Care Services an Older Adult Behavioral Health Services Administrator to oversee behavioral health services for older adults which would be funded with administrative funds from the Mental Health Services Fund. In addition, the Administrator would be required to work in close coordination with community partners including the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission.

AB 1282 (Lowenthal): Mental Health – Impacts of Social Media – 2-year bill – SUPPORT

This bill would require the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (Commission) on or before July 1, 2026, to report to the relevant policy committees of the Legislature a statewide strategy to understand, communicate, and mitigate mental health risks associated with the use of social media by children and youth.

AB 1636 (Santiago): Mental Health Services – 2-year bill

This bill would require the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission to develop, implement, and oversee a public and comprehensive framework for tracking and reporting spending on mental health programs and services from all major fund sources and of program- and service-level and statewide outcome data. In addition, this bill would require counties to report to the commission their expenses in specific categories, including, but not limited to, inpatient care or intensive outpatient services, as well as their unspent funding from all major funding sources.

SB 10 (Cortese) Opioid Overdose Prevention and Treatment – Chapter 856, Statutes of 2023 – SUPPORT

This bill would require school safety plans to include a protocol for responding to a student’s opioid overdose and require the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHSA) to establish the State Working Group on Fentanyl Education in Schools to promote public education, awareness, and prevention of fentanyl overdoses through outreach to staff and students in schools.

SB 326 (Eggman): Mental Health Services Act

Recasts the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) as the Behavioral Health Services Act (BHSA) and modifies local and state spending priorities under the BHSA, including requiring 30% of all local BHSA funds to be spent on housing interventions, as specified; eliminating allocations for local mental health prevention-based programs and recasting other local spending categories; and adding a state-level population-based prevention and stigma reduction program and statewide workforce program. Allows BHSA funding to be used to provide services to individuals with substance use disorders (SUD) regardless of whether they have additional mental health diagnoses or needs. Requires counties to more comprehensively plan and report on behavioral health services (BHS), sources of funding, and outcomes, and requires the state to establish outcome metrics for BHS and programs. Authorizes the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to enforce county compliance with BHSA planning, spending, and data reporting requirements through a variety of mechanisms, including requiring changes to BHSA spending plans, imposition of monetary sanctions or temporary withholds, and imposition of corrective action plans, as specified. Makes most changes subject to voter approval on the March 5, 2024, primary election ballot. Contains an urgency clause to ensure this bill takes effect immediately upon enactment.

SB 509 (Portantino): School Employee and Pupil Training – Youth Mental and Behavioral Health – Vetoed – SUPPORT

This bill requires a portion of school employees to receive training on youth behavioral health and requires instruction in mental health for students in grades one to six. Specifically, this bill: 1) Requires, by July 1, 2027, a local educational agency (LEA) serving students in grades seven to 12 to certify to the California Department of Education (CDE) that 40% of its classified employees and 100% of its certificates employees who serve and have direct contact with these students have received youth behavioral health training identified by the CDE. The training is to be scheduled during regularly scheduled work hours, except in certain situations. 2) Requires instruction to students in grades one to six to include content on mental health. 3) Requires CDE, by January 1, 2025, and subject to appropriation, to recommend best practices and identify training programs for school employees to address youth behavioral health for use by LEAs serving students in kindergarten to grade six.

SB 544 (Laird) Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act: Teleconferencing – Chapter 216, Statutes of 2023

This bill aims to change the existing law, the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, to allow state bodies to hold public meetings through teleconferencing. Under the changes, state bodies would no longer need to post agendas at teleconference locations, identify the teleconference in the notice and agenda of the meeting, or provide access to the public. Instead, the state body would need to provide a means by which the public can hear the audio of the meeting, observe the meeting, or attend remotely, as well as a physical meeting location designated in the notice. Members of the public will still be able to address the state body directly but they wouldn’t need to be present at each teleconference location. A majority of members of the state body would need to be physically present at the same location for at least 1/2 of the meetings. If the means of remote participation fails during a meeting, the state body would need to end or adjourn the meeting. Additionally, requests for reasonable accommodation by individuals with disabilities must be swiftly resolved. This bill would expire January 1, 2026.

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