California Legislative Tracker

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Mental Health

This page tracks California legislation impacting mental health services for Urban Indians. This tracker is updated regularly and provides links to the California Legislative Information website for additional resources.

Click here to view an recently chaptered bills.


AB 1917: Assembly member Obernolte (District 33)

Mental Health care professionals: qualifications

Summary: This bill would, require the board to accept specified education an applicant gained from an out-of-state school. This bill would specify that the face-to-face counseling requirement of the practicum coursework be face-to-face counseling of individuals, couples, families, or groups. This bill would require that this counseling be supervised for applicants seeking licensure as a professional clinical counselor. This bill would require that the degree’s practicum and field study experience involve direct client contact. This bill would prohibit remediation of the core content area of assessment, appraisal, and testing of individuals, as specified. The bill also would prohibit the remediation of the core content area of the principles of the diagnostic process and the use of diagnostic tools, as specified.

Last Action: 07/22/2016 Approved by the Governor and chaptered by the Secretary of State

For more information on this bill please check the Official California Legislative Information site here


AB 2279: Assembly member Cooley (District 8)

Mental Health Services Act: county-by-county spending reports

Summary: This bill would require the department, based on the Annual Mental Health Services Act Revenue and Expenditure Report, to compile information on an annual basis that includes the total amount of MHSA revenue, a county-by-county comparison of fund expenditure plans and annual updates, and a county-by-county comparison of the purposes for which MHSA funds were expended and to send that information to the commission. The bill would require the commission to make the information available to the public on the commission’s Internet Web site and to update the Internet Web site annually.

Last Action: 08/30/2016 Enrolled and presented to the Governor

For more information on this bill please check the Official California Legislative Information site here


SB 884: Senator Beall (District 15 ) 

Special education: procedural safeguards and records: mental health services

Summary: Existing law establishes certain rights and procedural safeguards for parents and pupils of individuals with disabilities, and requires a public agency to give prior written notice to parents or guardians of an individual with exceptional needs when certain actions are taken with respect tohis or her placement, identification, and assessment or the provision of a free and appropriate education.This bill would require a local educational agency responsible for implementation of a pupil’s individualized education program to ensure that a copy of each prior written notice is included in the pupil’s records. The bill would require each special education local plan area to require each local educational agency to provide certain information to parents in their annual parent notification information, including information regarding family empowerment centers and parent training and information centers. This bill would also require a special education local plan area to document and report to the State Department of Education funding allocations and expenditures for all mental health and special education services, and would require the department to post the information on the department’s Internet Web site

Last Action: 08/03/2016 From committee: Do pass. Ordered to consent calendar.

For more information on this bill please check the Official California Legislative Information site here


AB 1644: Assemblymember Bonta (District 18)

School-based early mental health intervention and prevention services

Summary: This bill would expand the definition of an eligible pupil to include a pupil who attends a preschool program at a contracting agency of the California state preschool program or a local educational agency,and a pupil who is in transitional kindergarten, thereby extending the application of the act to those persons. The bill would also include charter schools in the definition of local educational agency, thereby extending the application of the act to those entities. The bill would require the State Public Health Officer, in consultation with the Superintendent of Public Schools and the Director of Health Care Services, to establish a 4-year pilot program, the School-Based Early Mental Health Intervention and Prevention Services Support Program, to provide outreach, free regional training, and technical assistance for local educational agencies in providing mental health services at schoolsites. The bill would require the State Department of Public Health to submit specified reports after 2 and 4 years.

Last Action: 06/29/2016 Do pass and re-refer to Committee on Appropriations

For more information on this bill please check the Official California Legislative Information site here


AB 1576: Assemblymember Eggman (District 13)

Mental Health Delivery Demonstration Project: Early Diagnosis and Psychosis Treatment Program.

Summary: This bill would, commencing July 1, 2017, authorize health care service plans that offer health care services within the greater Sacramento area to require enrollees seeking services for a mental health condition to participate in a Mental Health Delivery Demonstration Project through an Early Diagnosis and Psychosis Treatment (EDAPT) program, as defined. The bill would require plans that choose to participate to develop clinical guidelines for enrollees and to make those guidelines available as part of their evidence of coverage and to primary care providers and specialty mental health providers in their contracted network. The bill would allow an enrollee to opt out of the EDAPT program if a psychiatrist notifies the plan that the enrollee is under his or her care. These provisions would be repealed on January 1, 2020. Because a willful violation of these provisions would be a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Last Action: 04/12/2016 Hearing canceled at the request of the author.

For more information on this bill please check the Official California Legislative Information site here


AB 847: Assemblymember Mullin (District 22)

Mental health: community-based services

Summary:This bill would require the department to develop a proposal for the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services to be selected as a participating state in the time-limited demonstration program described above to receive enhanced federal matching funds for mental health services provided by certified community behavioral health clinics to Medi-Cal beneficiaries. The bill would appropriate $1,000,000 from the Mental Health Services Act Fund to the State Department of Health Care Services to develop that proposal. The bill would make findings and declarations of the Legislature, including that the changes the bill would make are consistent with and further the intent of the act. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

Last Action: 04/11/2016 Approved by the Governor. Chaptered by the Secretary of State – Chapter 6, Statutes of 2016.

For more information on this bill please check the Official California Legislative Information site here


AB 2017: Assemblymember McCarty (District 7)

College  Mental Health Services Program

Summary:This bill would establish the College Mental Health Services Trust Account and would appropriate an unspecified amount annually to that account from the Mental Health Services Fund, to be used by the department to create a grant program for public community colleges, colleges, and universities to improve access to mental health services on campus, as specified. The bill would require campuses that have been awarded grants annually to report on the use of grant funds. This bill contains other existing laws.

Last Action: 08/29/2016 Senate amendments concurred in. To Engrossing and Enrolling.

For more information on this bill please check the Official California Legislative Information site here


AB 1808: Senator Wood (District 2)

Minors: mental health services

Summary: Existing law authorizes a minor who is 12 years of age or older to consent to mental health treatment or counseling services on an outpatient basis, or to residential shelter services, under certain circumstances, where those services are provided by any one of specified professionals, including a marriage and family therapist, a marriage and family therapist intern, a professional clinical counselor, and a clinical counselor intern. This bill would additionally authorize a marriage and family therapist trainee and a clinical counselor trainee, while working under the supervision of certain licensed professionals, to provide those services.

Last Action: 08/30/2016 Enrolled and presented to the Governor

For more information on this bill please check the Official California Legislative Information site here


AB 847:  Assemblymembers Mullin (District 22), and Ridley-Thomas (District 54)

Mental Health: Community Based Services

Summary: Existing law provides Medi-Cal program provides for specified services, including various mental health services. The Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, requires the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services to award, no later than January 1, 2016, planning grants to states to assist with the development of their proposals to demonstrate their mental health services improvement plan.

This bill would require the State Department of Health Care Services to apply to the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services to receive the planning grant to support the development of California’s proposal.

According to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, this bill would bring administrative costs to DHCS estimated at under $100,000 (General Fund/federal) to support the application process. However, if the grant is received, it would pay for the development of the demonstration program.

This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.

Last Action Date: 04/11/2016 Approved by the Governor and chaptered by the Secretary of State – Chapter 6, Statutes 2016.

For more information on this bill please check the Official California Legislative Information site here


AB 1863:  Jim Wood (District 2 ) 

Medi-Cal: federally qualified health centers: rural health centers

Summary: This bill would include a marriage and family therapist within those health care professionals covered under that definition. The bill would require an FQHC or RHC that currently includes the cost of services of a dental hygienist in alternative practice, or a marriage and family therapist for the purposes of establishing its FQHC or RHC rate to apply to the department for an adjustment to its per-visit rate if the FQHC or RHC chooses to bill these services as a separate visit,and, after the rate adjustment has been approved by the department, would require the FQHC or RHC to bill these services as a separate visit, as specified. The bill would require an FQHC or RHC that does not provide the services of a dental hygienist, dental hygienist in alternative practice, or a marriage and family therapist, and later elects to add these services and bill these services as a separate visit, to process the addition of these services as a change in scope of service.

Last Action: 08/11/2016 From committee: Do pass.

For more information on this bill please check the Official California Legislative Information site here


AB 858:  Assemblymember Wood (District 2)

Improving Access to Behavioral Health Services in Primary Care (Same Day Billing)

Summary: This bill allows federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and rural health clinics (RHCs) to provide and be reimbursed for both medical and mental health services to Medi-Cal beneficiaries on the same day, in the same location. Currently, an outdated provision of law prohibits “same day billing” for medical services and mental health services, even though it does allow for medical and dental services to be delivered and paid for on the same day.

Last Action Date: 10/10/2015 Vetoed by the Governor.

For more information on this bill please check the Official California Legislative Information site here


AB 690: Assemblymember Wood (District 2)

Improving Access to Behavioral Health Services in Primary Care (MFT Providers)

Summary:   Adds marriage and family therapists (MFTs) as health care professionals whose services may be reimbursed by Medi-Cal when provided at a federally qualified health center (FQHC) or rural health clinic (RHC).   According to 2012 OSHPD data, 41.5 percent of community clinics and health centers provide behavioral health services in 50 of California’s 58 Counties.

Last Action Date: 01/31/2016 Died pursuant to Article IV, Sec. 10(c) of the Constitution.

For more information on this bill please check the Official California Legislative Information site here


AB 741:  Assemblymember Williams (District 37)

Comprehensive mental health crisis services

Summary: The California Community Care Facilities Act provides for the licensing and regulation of community care facilities, as defined, by the State Department of Social Services. A community care facilities is a social residential rehabilitation facility that provides group services to adults recovering from mental illness. A violation of the act is a misdemeanor.

This bill would expand the definition of a social rehabilitation facility to include those that provide services in a group setting to children, adolescents, or adults recovering from mental illness or in a mental health crisis. By expanding the types of facilities that are regulated as a community care facility, this bill would expand the scope of an existing crime, thus creating a state-mandated local program. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for costs mandated by the state.
This bill helps address children’s crisis residential services, a critical component missing from the mental health services. According to the author, with 47 of 58 counties lacking any child/adolescent psychiatric hospital inpatient beds for children under 12, the need for children’s crisis residential services is pressing.

Last Action Date: 06/30/2016 Do pass and re-referred to Committee on Appropriations.

For more information on this bill please check the Official California Legislative Information site here


SB 291:  Senator Vidak

Mental Health

Summary: Existing law contains provisions over the community mental health services provided to the mentally disordered by locally administered and controlled community health programs in each county. This bill would make technical, nonsubstantive changes to the latter provisions.

Last Action Date: 10/07/2015 Vetoed by the Governor

For more information on this bill please check the Official California Legislative Information site here


AB 1254: Assemblymember Grove (District 24)

Health care service Plans: abortion coverage

Summary: The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), enacted January 1, 2014, requires a health insurer in the individual or small group market to ensure coverage for essential health benefits. PPACA does not require that a qualified health plan provide coverage for abortion.

The Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975 permits the Director of Managed Health Care to oversee a hearing by ordering or suspending a license, or assessing administrative penalties.

This bill permits a health care service plan to exclude abortion as a covered benefit. However, this bill would prohibit the director of Managed Health Care from denying a license or from disciplining a license on the basis that the plan excludes coverage for abortions. According to the author, this bill lifts the requirement on those with religious or moral objections to support abortions by paying for the in their health care plan.

Last Action: 01/31/2016 Died pursuant to to Article IV, Sec. 10(c) of the Constitution.

For more information on this bill please check the Official California Legislative Information site here