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Legislation Impacting
mental health care
2023 Session

I'll update this page with news about legislation that impacts mental health policy in California as the legislative year progresses. 

SB 43

(Eggman D)   Behavioral health.

Status: Passed Senate. (Ayes 37. Noes 0.) In Assembly.

Summary: This bill expands the definition of “gravely disabled” to also include a condition in which a person, due to a mental health disorder or a substance use disorder, or both, is at substantial risk of serious harm, or is currently experiencing serious harm to their physical or mental health. The bill defines “serious harm” for purposes of these provisions to mean significant deterioration, debilitation, or illness due to a person’s failure to meet certain conditions, including, among other things, attend to needed personal or medical care and attend to self-protection or personal safety.

Explainer: SB 43 adds medical care to food, clothing, and shelter, as a basic human need, the neglect of which by a person with a severe mental illness may be used to determine that they are gravely disabled and subject to involuntary detention. It also clarifies that grave disability exists when there is a significant risk of serious harm to the individual thus providing important clarifying detail that would allow homeless individuals who would otherwise fall through the cracks to receive lifesaving care.  

SB 363

(Eggman D)   Facilities for inpatient and residential mental health and substance use disorder: database.

Status: Senate vote 40-0. In Assembly Committee on HEALTH.

Summary: Would require develop a real-time, internet-based database about beds in specified types of facilities, such as chemical dependency recovery hospitals, acute psychiatric hospitals, and mental health rehabilitation centers, among others, to identify their availability. The bill would enable searches to identify beds that are appropriate for individuals in need of inpatient or residential mental health or substance use disorder treatment.

Explainer: SB 363 would create an online database identifying in real time the availability of a psychiatric or drug treatment bed. This is important because the current lists of facility phone numbers by themselves require laborious, time-consuming searches. This  seriously impedes rapid identification of available, appropriate beds for a patient.

SB 372

(Menjivar D)   Department of Consumer Affairs: licensee and registrant records: name and gender changes.

Status: Senate vote 33-4. Referred to Assembly Committees on Business and Professions and Judiciary

Summary: This bill would require a board to update a licensee’s or registrant’s records to include the licensee’s or registrant’s updated legal name or gender and would require the board to remove the licensee’s or registrant’s former name or gender from its online license verification system and treat this information as confidential.

SB 373

(Menjivar D)   Board of Behavioral Sciences, Board of Psychology, and Medical Board of California: licensees’ and registrants’ addresses.

Status: Senate vote 36-0. Referred to Committee on Business and Professions.

Summary: Would prohibit the Board of Behavioral Sciences and the Board of Psychology from disclosing on the Internet the full address of record of certain licensees and registrants.

​AB 1437

(Irwin D)   Medi-Cal: serious mental illness.

Status: Assembly vote 75-0. In Senate.

Summary:  Under this bill, a prescription refill for a drug for serious mental illness would automatically be approved for a period of 365 days after the initial prescription is dispensed.

Explainer: AB 1437 prohibits the state from requiring prior authorization for psychotropic refills in the Medi-Cal system. This bill is important because the 365-day prohibition reduces needless paperwork and assures continuity of medication for the patient. 

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