Saturday, August 31, 2013

Dozens of bills die in California Legislature committees

With California's legislative session in its final days, state lawmakers pared dozens of bills from consideration Friday, including a measure to expand the independence of nurse practitioners.
They also halted the progress of a bill that would allow mothers who get pregnant while enrolled in CalWORKs to claim benefits for the child.
The appropriations committees in both houses considered their "suspense files," the holding place for hundreds of bills that would cost the state more than $150,000 each to implement.
In the Assembly, lawmakers moved rapidly through the list of 152 bills, passing 110 with a $17 million price tag.
Among those stalled in committee were Democratic Sen. Loni Hancock's Senate Bill 283, which would allow drug felons to access food stamps, and Senate Bill 38 by Democratic Sen. Kevin de Leon. It would create an amnesty program for people prohibited from possessing guns to surrender them to law enforcement.
Democratic Sen. Ed Hernandez's bill expanding the duties of pharmacists passed, but his Senate Bill 491 to add duties and independence for nurse practitioners – including prescribing drugs and managing treatment plans – was halted.
It lost the support of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners following recent amendments and was opposed by the California Medical Association, which represents doctors.
Hernandez said he will push forward with the bill next year.

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