State Bill Introduction Deadline Passes, Busy Year Ahead
Biocom staff and our contract lobbyists in Sacramento continue to work gathering details and intent of bills put in by the California Legislature’s bill introduction deadline of Friday, February 17.
Most of the bills were introduced as “spot bills,” meaning that, in their introduced form, they affect one small code section so that the introduction deadline is met, but the author’s intention is to populate it with more substantive language before it is heard in its first policy committee. Although we do not yet have precise details on these bills, the intent of most of them is now known.
One major proposal announced is SB 562, legislation offered by Senators Ricardo Lara and Toni Atkins to enact a single payer health system in California. Details on this bill have not yet been released, but given uncertainty at the federal level with what may happen with the presumed “repeal and replace” of Obamacare at the federal level is likely to give this concept additional appeal.
Many of the other issues that have been introduced as legislation are familiar ones to Biocom members. Industry funded drug and sharps takeback programs ( SB 212), drug pricing data disclosure ( SB 17), and repeal of the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act ( SCA 7) are just a few of the ideas introduced that we will be facing. New topics include a ban on drug co-pay coupons for consumers ( AB 265) and addressing of opioid addiction through a manufacturers tax ( AB 1512). Although the opioid tax language has not put into AB 1512 yet, a press release yesterday outlined the author’s intent.
As these proposals gain more substantive language, Biocom’s Legislative and Public Policy Committees will review and take positions on them. For legislation in the State Assembly, substantive language must be put into the bills by March 15. Please keep an eye on this space or in the State Legislation of Interest section of the Biocom website for updates as these proposals progress in the Legislature.