Legislative Update June 2022



2022 California Legislative Session
The 2022 Legislative session is plowing forward. May 27, 2022 was the “house of origin” deadline for bills introduced this year to pass into the second house. Now Assembly bills are in the Senate and Senate bills are in the Assembly. Legislation will now go through policy and appropriations committees before a floor vote. If bills are approved by the second house, then they will be sent to the Governor for his signature or veto.

CAMFT encourages all members to visit CAMFT's Legislative Action Page to learn about all of the bills CAMFT follows, including in-depth descriptions, legislative analyses, and up-to-date status reports. You can also subscribe here to CAMFT's Action E-Lerts for CAMFT emails on key pieces of legislation.

CAMFT Sponsored Legislation:
MFTs and AMFTs in FQHC and Rural Health Clinics: SB 966 (Limon) Co-Sponsor: This bill removes administrative barriers that have prevented MFTs from providing treatment in Federally Qualified Health Clinics (FQHC) and Rural Health Clinics (RHC). Current Medi-Cal policy requires FQHCs and RHCs to file a new "scope of services" when adding a new provider, like MFTs. By eliminating this administrative hurdle, FQHCs and RHCs may hire MFTs to help ensure services are available to their patients and increase access to behavioral health treatment.

Additionally, this bill makes a Federal COVID-19 pandemic waiver permanent and allows Associate Marriage and Family Therapists and Associate Clinical Social Workers to work in FQHCs and RHCs. This will provide an additional opportunity for these associate clinicians to pursue their clinical hours required for state licensure and improve access to consumers.

Legislation Signed by Governor:
Civil damages: Medical Malpractice: AB 35 (Reyes and Umberg):

The first update to the 1975 California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) was approved by the legislature and signed by Governor Newson in May 2022! This heroic effort is the result of intense negotiations and is a true compromise between stakeholders and legislators. AB 35 establishes a process for monetary injury awards to increase in a structured and planned process. The existing MICRA non-economic damages cap of $250,000, will increase to $350,000 for non-death cases and $500,000 for wrongful death cases on the effective date January 1, 2023. This will be followed by incremental increases over 10 years to $750,000 for non-death cases and $1,000,000 for wrongful death cases, after which a 2.0% annual inflationary adjustment will apply. As a result approving AB 35, the Fairness for Injured Patients Act (FIPA) initiative was formally withdrawn by proponents and will not appear on the November ballot. CAMFT was neutral on this bill that goes into effect on January 1, 2023.

For more details, you can read the Governor’s office press release here.

Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) Sponsored Legislation:
Remote Supervision: AB 1758 (Aguiar-Curry
) Support: This bill allows for the remote supervision of pre-licensees, without regard to the setting, by defining supervision as "face-to-face contact" to mean in-person contact or contact via two-way, real-time videoconferencing, or some combination of these.

This measure is urgent legislation, which means it will go into effect immediately if signed by the Governor. The bill also includes a sunset of 2026 that allows for a re-evaluation of the supervision policy. CAMFT supports this bill.

Continuing Education: AB 1759 (Aguiar-Curry) Support: This bill requires all BBS registrants to complete a one-time three-hour Telehealth course. This bill also requires registrants to complete a three-hour Law and Ethics (L&E) course at each renewal. This is a new requirement for associates, but it aligns their Law and Ethics education with licensees and seeks to ensure that there is no gap in their law and ethics education. The new L&E requirements in this measure replace the existing 12-hour course requirement. CAMFT supports this bill.


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