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News and Updates

Dec 22, 2022

CPF Priority Bills Signed by Governor Newsom

At the end of the 2021-2022 Legislative session, CPF is proud to share a full report of the sponsored bills and priority items that were signed into law by Governor Newsom throughout the two-year session. We are grateful for the support from the Governor and Legislature, for their support of efforts to protect firefighters and their families. Below is a summary of the new laws.


AB 450 (Gonzalez) – Paramedic Disciplinary Review Board  

AB 450 sets up an independent board comprised of four working paramedics, one emergency room doctor, and two members of the public, to make final determinations regarding appeals of paramedic disciplinary matters. Currently, the state EMSA Director has virtually unlimited power to deny, suspend or revoke a paramedic license, or put a license holder on probation for acts related to their role as paramedics. This bill will bring impartiality into the current system of licensure discipline, and assure California’s paramedics that they will receive fair due process.  

AB 389 (Grayson) – Ambulance Services 

AB 389 clarifies the existing authority of the “Fire Alliance Model” in which a county can contract with a fire agency for emergency ambulance services when that fire agency provides those services through a subcontract with a private ambulance provider. This model has been successful in keeping control of EMS within the fire agency and out of the hands of the private ambulance provider, and providing cost-effective solutions. Contra Costa County successfully piloted this program with the support of Contra Costa County Fire Protection District and Contra Costa County Professional Firefighters, Local 1230. Additionally, AB 389 codifies new transparency and workforce protections applicable to counties and fire agencies that elect to enter contracts for emergency ambulance services. 

SB 278 (Leyva) – CalPERS: Disallowed Compensation 

A number of retired firefighters and other public workers have been hit by huge bills and retroactive take-backs from CalPERS, citing overpayments that were no fault of the employee. SB 278 closes this loophole, requires the employer to make the retiree whole, while also implementing procedures at CalPERS to prevent future errors.  


SB 1127 (Atkins) - Workers’ Compensation: Liability Presumptions  

This measure increases the penalties to employers, third party administrators or insurers that unreasonably deny workers compensation claims involving presumptive injuries. This bill also shortens the time in which employers must decide liability for presumptive cases from 90 days to 75 days. Lastly, this bill clarifies that temporary disability awarded for a cancer-related injury shall extend for no more than 240 weeks, rather than 104 weeks and removes a 5-year limitation on collecting that benefit. Combined, the provisions of this measure seek to incentivize employers to review and approve injury claims more efficiently and remove barriers to access workers’ compensation presumptive benefits, getting injured firefighters back to work.

SB 450 (Hertzberg) - Prop 19 Implementation  

Following the passage of Proposition 19 by voters in the 2020 election, legislation was necessary to provide the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services the authority to govern the disbursement of money from the California Fire Response Fund to underfunded fire districts throughout the state. SB 450 directs the Office of Emergency Services to create a grant application system for eligible fire districts to apply for funding generated by Proposition 19 in order to fund fire suppression staffing.

SB 850 (Laird) – Special Death Benefits: Children of Members

Prior law limited the payments of additional benefits for the children of public safety officers who have died in the line of duty to the spouse of that officer, leaving ambiguity and uncertainty for the children of parents who were not married. Following the death of Santa Cruz County Sheriff Deputy Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller in the line of duty leaving behind his two children and partner of 10 years, SB 850 clarifies this law and brings it into line with modern family structures.

AB 1722 (Cooper) - CalPERS Pre-Normal Retirement Age IDR Provisions – Sunset Elimination

AB 1722 deletes the sunset contained in a provision of law that provides an actuarially reduced IDR for public safety officers who are members of the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and are forced out of the usual duties of their current position because of a job-caused illness or injury but have not yet reached the minimum normal retirement age established by the retirement system. This CalPERS IDR safety member provision is comparable to similar provisions that have long been extended to county or special district public safety officers under a ‘37 Act Retirement System.

AB 2556 (O’Donnell) - Local public employee organizations

This measure extends the timeframe in which mediation and factfinding procedures have been exhausted from no earlier than 10 days to no earlier than 15 days in which after the factfinders' written findings of fact and recommended terms of settlement have been submitted to the parties before a local public employer may implement its last, best, and final offer to a local public employee organization. Additionally, the measure aligns the Myers-Millias-Brown Act (MMBA) with the Dills Act regarding the ability for a recognized employee organization to charge reasonable fees to a non-member who requests individual representation in a discipline, grievance, arbitration or administrative hearing.

AB 1751 (Daly) - COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Presumption Extension

AB 1751 extends the sunset of the rebuttable workers’ compensation presumption for COVID-19 established by SB 1159 (Hill, 2020) for frontline workers. These provisions were set to expire on January 1, 2023, and this bill extends the sunset to January 1, 2024.

If you have the opportunity to interact with your local legislators during the legislative recess, please be sure to thank those who stood up for CPF's 2021-22 legislation.