Calls to Action

June 2011 - Show Your Support for Viral Hepatitis Bills in California Legislature

AB 300, introduced by Assemblymember Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco), imposes minimum statewide standards for the regulation of practitioners engaged in the business of tattooing, body piercing, and the application of permanent cosmetics in California, including evidence of current Hepatitis B vaccination and completion of training in bloodborne pathogens. AB 300 passed the Assembly (72 Ayes, 0 Noes) and is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Committee on Health on June 8th. Read the fact sheet and CalHEP's letter of support.

Please direct your letters of support for AB 300 to:
Senator Ed Hernandez
Chair, Senate Committee on Health
State Capitol Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: 916-445-0485
Send email

AB 310, introduced by Assemblymember Fiona Ma, would prohibit health care service plans and health insurers that offer outpatient prescription drug coverage from requiring coinsurance from the enrollee as a basis for cost sharing (e.g., specialty drug tiers). The bill would also impose certain limitations on copayments and out-of-pocket expenses for outpatient prescription drugs. AB 310 passed the Assembly Health Committee and has been referred to the Appropriations Committee. Read the fact sheet and CalHEP's letter of support.

Please direct your letters of support for AB 310 to:
Assembly Member Felipe Fuentes 
Chair, Assembly Committee on Appropriations
State Capitol Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: 916-319-2139
Send email

AB 604, introduced by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), would allow the California Department of Public Health to authorize health and social service programs to provide syringe exchange services in any location where the department determines that the conditions exist for the rapid spread of HIV, viral hepatitis or other infections spread through the sharing of used syringes. AB 604 has passed the Assembly and is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Committee on Health on June 15th. Read the fact sheet and CalHEP's letter of support.

Please direct your letters of support for AB 604 to:
Senator Ed Hernandez
Chair, Senate Committee on Health
State Capitol Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: 916-445-0485
Send email

AB 1382, introduced by Roger Hernández (D-West Covina), would authorize HIV counselors to perform hepatitis C virus (HCV) or combined HIV/HCV tests in addition to HIV tests that are classified as waived under the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA). Allowing HIV test counselors to also administer HCV or HIV/HCV tests would greatly increase the availability of HCV screening, thus allowing more individuals to get into early treatment and reducing the costs of undetected HCV infections. AB 1382 has passed the Assembly and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health. Read the fact sheet and CalHEP's letter of support.

Please direct your letters of support for AB 1382 to:
Senator Ed Hernandez
Chair, Senate Committee on Health
State Capitol Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: 916-445-0485
Send email

SB 41, introduced by Senator Leland Yee (D, San Francisco) allows pharmacists and physicians the discretion to furnish 30 or fewer syringes to adults without a prescription as part of the State’s comprehensive strategy to prevent the spread of HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and other blood-borne diseases. Most states amended their laws in light of overwhelming evidence that criminalizing access to sterile syringes led drug users to share used ones, and that sharing syringes spread HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases that can live in a used syringe. Yee’s legislation would remove the existing sunset of the pilot program (2018) and would allow all pharmacists throughout the state the discretion to sell sterile syringes without a prescription. SB 41 passed in the Senate (Ayes 24, Noes 13) and will now be sent to the Assembly. Read the fact sheet and CalHEP's letter of support.

SCR 36, introduced by Senator Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo), designates May 19th as California's Viral Hepatitis Awareness Day. This resolution helps to increase awareness among Californians of the importance of viral hepatitis prevention, screening and treatment. View the resolution and CalHEP's letter of support. This resolution passed the Senate.

Please thank Senator Blakeslee for his leadership on SCR 36:
Senator Sam Blakeslee
State Capitol Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: 916-445-8081
Send email

March 2011 - Call Your US Legislators to Voice Your Support for Health Reform and Viral Hepatitis Funding

March 21-25 is Constituent Work Week, when your Senators and Representative will be back in your district to hear from their constituents, including you.  This is your best chance to reach your Representative and tell them how important it is that they support funding for health reform and CDC’s viral hepatitis program. Congress is still fighting over the spending bill that will fund government programs through the end of the current fiscal year on September 30. Many Representatives are using this spending bill as a way to take funding away from health reform and public health programs including viral hepatitis. Senators also have to make hard decisions about funding this year. These cuts may lower the 2011 overall budget numbers but will also impact people with hepatitis B and C and increase the costs of care and treatment for thousands of people who have chronic hepatitis. The Hepatitis Appropriation Partnership has prepared a great handout with everything you need to call your legislators and voice your support.

February 2011 - Show Your Support for Syringe Access to Prevent Viral Hepatitis, HIV and other Diseases

Senator Yee has introduced SB 41, which allows pharmacists and physicians the discretion to furnish 30 or fewer syringes to adults without a prescription as part of the State’s comprehensive strategy to prevent the spread of HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and other blood-borne diseases. Most states amended their laws in light of overwhelming evidence that criminalizing access to sterile syringes led drug users to share used ones, and that sharing syringes spread HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases that can live in a used syringe. Yee’s legislation would remove the existing sunset of the pilot program (2018) and would allow all pharmacists throughout the state the discretion to sell sterile syringes without a prescription. SB 41 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Health Committee on April 6th. Read theSB 41 Fact Sheet and CalHEP's letter of support.

Please direct your letters of support to:
Senator Edward Hernandez
Chair, Senate Health Committee
State Capitol Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: 916-324-0384
Send email