Oct 20, 2020

All CPF Priority and Sponsored Bills Signed by Governor

At the end of an interrupted legislative session, CPF is proud to report that every bill both sponsored or considered a top priority for the organization has been signed by Governor Newsom and passed into law. Below is a summary of the new laws either taking effect immediately or on January 1, 2021.

CPF Sponsored Bills

AB 1544 (Gipson) – Community Paramedicine or Triage to Alternate Destination Act
Status: Signed by Governor

AB 1544 creates the Community Paramedicine or Triage to Alternate Destination Act, which authorizes a local emergency medical services agency (LEMSA) to develop and seek approval for a program that provides the following community paramedic or triage paramedic services: directly observed therapy for patients with Tuberculosis; case management services for frequent EMS users; care and comfort services for hospice patients; triage and assessment services to authorize transport to an alternate destination facility, including a mental health facility or sobering center. Importantly, the bill provides a public safety first right of refusal for community paramedicine programs and requires that all ALS providers have an opportunity to participate in triage to alternate destination programs.

SB 1044 (Allen) – Firefighting equipment and foam: PFAS chemicals
Status: Signed by Governor

SB 1044 phases out the use of Class B firefighting foam containing PFAS chemicals, with some time limited exceptions, and requires notification of the presence of intentionally added PFAS in the personal protective equipment of firefighters. PFAS are a family of synthetic chemicals that are widely recognized as being harmful to human health and the environment and have been dubbed “forever chemicals” for their persistence in both the body and natural systems.

AB 2967 (O’Donnell) – Public Employee’s Retirement System: contracting agencies: exclusion from membership
Status: Signed by Governor

In 2019, the city of Placentia voted to end their contract with the Orange County Fire Authority and establish the Placentia Fire and Life Safety Department. The city petitioned CalPERS to amend its contract to exclude from CalPERS membership all firefighters hired to work for the new department. As a result of this contract amendment, firefighters are now the only full-time public employees in the city of Placentia to be denied a secure retirement through CalPERS. AB 2967 expressly prohibits employers from amending their contracts to exclude a class of employees from CalPERS coverage that were previously otherwise included.

AB 2068 (Petrie-Norris) – Voluntary tax contributions: California Firefighters Memorial Fund: California Police Officer Memorial Foundation Fund
Status: Signed by Governor

Since the construction of the California Firefighters Memorial on the grounds of the State Capitol to honor our fallen firefighters, California’s taxpayers have been granted the opportunity to directly support the maintenance of the memorial through the California Firefighters Memorial Fund. AB 2068 extends the sunset of this tax check-off program through January 1, 2028, ensuring that the California Fire Foundation is able to build on their good work and offer the citizens of California a place to honor those who have given their lives to save the lives and property of others.

AB 1140 (Stone)-- Public Employees’ Retirement System: contracting agencies: consolidation
Status: Signed by the Governor

AB 1140 resolves an important issue that likely is the one remaining issue standing in the way of a successful consolidation of services for the citizens in the Aptos-La Selva and Central Fire service territory. This measure will ensure that the employees of the agency created by the consolidation of the Central Fire Protection District and the Aptos/La Selva Fire Protection District will be able to retain the benefits that have been bargained and paid for, while still creating a merged and more efficient fire protection district.

CPF Priority Bills – COVID-19 Protections

SB 1159 (Hill) – Workers’ compensation: COVID-19: critical workers
Status: Signed by Governor

SB 1159 establishes a rebuttable presumption for injuries including illness or death resulting from COVID-19 within the workers’ compensation system. This presumption would cover employees who contract COVID-19 through the course of their employment, including firefighters, police officers, and healthcare workers, beginning on or after July 6, 2020 until the sunset date of January 1, 2023. The bill contains an urgency clause, and has taken effect immediately after being signed by the Governor. Governor Newsom’s executive order, issued in May, covers workers who contracted COVID-19 between March 19 to July 5, 2020.

AB 1867 – Small employer family leave mediation: supplemental paid sick leave
Status: Signed by Governor

AB 1867 provides supplemental paid sick leave to emergency workers who were excluded from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, ensuring that firefighters who are exposed to or infected with COVID-19 are able to take supplemental sick leave without burning their own accrued sick time. This law applies to firefighters and other emergency workers who are subject to a quarantine order from a governmental entity, a healthcare provider, or their employer due to concerns regarding transmission of the disease. Firefighters who had been scheduled to work an excess of 80 hours for the two weeks before their leave will be granted supplemental sick leave in the amount of the hours they were scheduled to work for those two weeks. This bill took effect immediately upon being signed by the Governor. The Department of Industrial Relations developed an FAQ on the implementation of this law that can be found HERE.

AB 685 (Reyes) – COVID-19: imminent hazard to employees: exposure: notification: serious violations
Status: Signed by Governor

AB 685 requires that employers give workers notice of workplace exposure to COVID-19 within one business day and report outbreaks consisting of 3 cases within 14 days to the local public health officer for inclusion in the state database. These notifications will ensure that both the exposed employees and the health and safety agencies who require this information are able to take the relevant steps to prevent further spread of the disease. Additionally, this new law will strengthen the reporting requirements of AB 432 by ensuring that once the notification of exposure has been received by the department from a hospital or public health official, it must be shared in a timely manner.