2023-2024 Legislative Priorities

1. Behavioral and Mental Health

AB 665 (Carillo): Minors: consent to mental health services
Description: Would align existing laws by removing the additional requirement that, in order to consent to mental health treatment or counseling on an outpatient basis, or to residential shelter services, a minor must present a danger of serious physical or mental harm to themselves or to others, or be the alleged victim of incest or child abuse.
Status: Passed out of Assembly on 4/10. Now in Senate to be assigned to committees. 
AB 456 (Maienschein) : Public postsecondary education: campus mental health hotlines
Description: Would require each campus of the California State University and the California Community Colleges without a campus mental health hotline, and would request the University of California, to establish a campus mental health hotline for students to access mental health services remotely that operates during working hours, as provided. The bill would authorize a campus to utilize text hotlines or online messaging platforms offered by the campus if a verbal hotline cannot be established. The bill would require a campus mental health hotline to direct a student to specified persons, including, among others, to a licensed mental health therapist. The bill would, outside of working hours, authorize a campus mental health hotline to direct a caller to specified services and phone numbers, including, among others, to 911. Would also similarly require/request to have printed on either side of the student identification cards the telephone numbers of the campus mental health hotline.
Status: On 4/19 referred to Appropriations suspense file

2. Child Poverty

SB 348 (Skinner): Pupil Meals
Description: Would require local educational agencies to provide breakfast and would authorize those local educational agencies to provide lunch on each 4-hour school day unless the State Department of Education receives an approval for a waiver from the United States Department of Agriculture to allow for lunch on a 4-hour school day to be served in a noncongregate manner, in which case, both meals are required to be served. The bill would require those local educational agencies to provide pupils with adequate time to eat, as determined by the State Department of Education. The bill would require the State Department of Education, in partnership with specified entities to determine the maximum amount of added sugar to be allowed in a nutritionally adequate breakfast or lunch, as provided.
Status: On 5/1 referred to Appropriations suspense file

3. Childcare/Early Childhood Education

AB 596 (Reyes) and SB380 (Limon): Early learning and care: rate reform
Description: This bill (and its companion bill) seeks to address the outdated reimbursement model for childcare workers to ensure childcare providers are paid more equitably for their work to care for our youngest Californians. This legislation will also make childcare more accessible to all families by suspending the family fee waiver until a sliding scale for family fees can be established to make it possible for low-income families to access affordable childcare. 
Status: AB: Second-Read and Amended as of 5/1; SB: Passed Sen Ed 4/27, in Sen Appropriations hearing date 5/8