Healthcare & Nursing Legislative Update

SEIU 121RN and the SEIU Nurse Alliance of California are actively tracking legislation and policies that affect nursing and the healthcare industry.  These bills include:

  • Senate Bill 323 by Senator Ed Hernandez would allow the nurse practitioners (NPs) to work to the full scope of their licensure/education.  It would authorize a nurse practitioner who holds a national certification from a national certifying body recognized by the board to practice without the supervision of a physician or surgeon, if the nurse practitioner meets existing requirements for nurse practitioners and practices in one of certain specified settings.

Status: The bill is currently in the Assembly Business & Professions Committee.

SEIU 121RN & the SEIU Nurse Alliance of California support the bill.

  • Assembly Bill 2272 by Assemblymember Tony Thurmond aims to remove infectious airborne contaminants from surgical suites to protect patients and healthcare providers. It would require the Occupational Safety & Standards Board (the board) to adopt standards to protect healthcare personnel and patients from plume, defined as noxious airborne contaminants generated as byproducts of the use of specific devices during surgical, diagnostic, or therapeutic procedures. The bill would require that in adopting these standards, the board must take into consideration and use as a benchmark certain standards adopted by specified organizations.

The bill would specify that compliance with general room ventilation standards or the use of surgical masks or respirators does not satisfy the requirements for protection from surgical plumes.

Status: AB 2272 is currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee

SEIU 121RN & the SEIU Nurse Alliance of California support the bill.

  • Assembly Bill 2467 by Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez would increase transparency among private hospitals in California by requiring public disclosure of executive compensation. Specifically, AB 2467 would require disclosure of all salaries above $250,000 per year. Total annual compensation would include wages, salary, paid time off, bonuses, incentive/lump-sum cash payments, severance payments, housing payments, and reimbursements for entertainment or social club membership.

The reasoning for the bill is that private hospitals in California receive billions of dollars in government funding and tax breaks. However, there is little accountability or transparency over whether these taxpayer dollars are being used to provide high-quality, affordable medical care, or if funds are being diverted to exorbitant executive compensation packages.  The data compiled under AB 2467 would be submitted and made public by the Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development (OSHPD), which currently collects and publicly reports data on hospital finances, utilization and quality.

Status: AB 2272 is currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee

SEIU 121RN & the SEIU Nurse Alliance of California support the bill.

  • Senate Bill 1195 by Senator Jerry Hill would eliminate the requirement that the Executive Officer (EO) of the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) be a registered nurse. The EO is responsible for planning, organizing and directing the activities of the Board in areas of administration, enforcement and licensure.  The EO also serves as the liaison between the BRN and stakeholders. The EO enforces the overall policies established by the BRN.

Currently, the President of the BRN is not required to be a registered nurse. If the bill passes, the top two leaders of the BRN will no longer need to be registered nurses.

Status: SB 1195 is currently on the Senate Floor

SEIU 121RN & the SEIU Nurse Alliance of California oppose SB 1195.

SACRAMENTO, Calif., December 17, 2015 SACRAMENTO -- Cal/OSHA hearing on workplace violence in Sacramento, Calif., Dec. 17, 2015. Photo by Robert Durell

Cal/OSHA hearing on workplace violence in Sacramento, Dec. 17, 2015.
Photo by Robert Durell

Work Place Violence Prevention Regulation Update: In 2012, California SEIU Local Unions, led by the Nurse Alliance of California and Local 121RN, petitioned Cal/OSHA and the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board for a Workplace Violence Prevention Standard for Healthcare Workers.  This summer, the final Cal/OSHA standard to protect healthcare workers from workplace violence is expected to be passed.  This will be the most comprehensive, enforceable workplace violence standard in the nation. For more details on our campaign, visit http://safecarestandard.org/.

If you would like more information on these or any other bills, please contact SEIU 121RN Political Director Frank Torres at torresf@seiu121rn.org.

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