Weideman COVID-19 Update
July 16, 2021
Health Information Exchange
The Legislature passed and sent to the Governor another round of budget “trailer bills” this week. One of the bills is AB 133, a measure that mandates the sharing of health information among health plans, health systems and providers. Despite an age where information is widely and securely stored and shared electronically, most healthcare information is stored on paper or in closed systems and is still shared via fax or mail or often by patients carrying their own physical records to appointments. AB 133 modernizes the state’s healthcare system by requiring safe and secure sharing of medical information, ensuring that no matter where a patient receives care their provider will have a full history of the patient’s conditions. Weideman Group clients, Blue Shield of California, SEIU and Manifest MedEx played a pivotal role in ensuring this item was successfully included in the budget.
2035 Carbon Neutrality
Governor Gavin Newsom sent a letter to California Air Resources Board Chair Liane M. Randolph and California Public Utilities Commission President Marybel Batjer requesting that they evaluate how to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. In the letter, Newsom said part of this evaluation should include ending the extraction of fossil fuels in California. This request speeds up the current target of carbon neutrality of 2045 by 10 years. California is also making historic investments to fight climate change, including $20 million for offshore wind, $3.9 billion for zero emission vehicles, and improving the state’s power grid.
New Labor Secretary
Governor Newsom has appointed Natalie Palugyai to head the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. Palugyai previously worked at the U.S. Department of Labor and is the first Latina to be appointed to the position. She succeeds Julie Su, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Deputy Secretary of Labor of the U.S. Department of Labor. More information can be found here.
Out for Summer
The Legislature is officially on summer break. Members are headed back to their districts for the summer and will return for the final month of session on August 16th. No official business will take place during the break, but there will be a solid amount of behind the scenes activity on pending legislation and a number of budget items that remain unresolved going into the fall.