CA Opioid Legislation

California Opioid Legislation 

Compiled by Ramon Castellblanch, PhD, Quality Healthcare Concepts, Inc.

Last updated: January 3, 2020

2018 CA Opioid Legislative Summary

Medication-Assisted Treatment Access

AB 319
Summary: would require the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to create reimbursement rates and rate billing codes for use by licensed narcotic treatment programs providing medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
Author: Blanca Rubio (D-eastern San Gabriel Valley)
Status: Assembly Appropriations suspense

AB 882
Summary: would prohibit an employer from discharging an employee for being in MAT
Author: McCarty (D-Sacramento)
Status: Assembly Labor (first committee)
AJ position: SUPPORT

AB 890 – referred to Assembly Business & Professions
Summary: would allow nurse practitioners to prescribe controlled substances
Author: Wood (D-Eureka)
AJ position: SUPPORT

AB 1327
Summary: would require narcotic treatment programs to provide safe storage products, as defined, to every patient who is eligible to take medication off the premises
Author: Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach)
Status: Senate Health

AB 1557
Summary: would require DHCS to fund a MAT-in-jail pilot program in San Francisco
Author: Chiu (D-San Francisco)
Status: Assembly Appropriations suspense
AJ position: SUPPORT

SB 11
Summary: Requires a health care service plan or insurer that provides prescription drug benefits for the treatment of substance use disorders must place all prescription medications for the treatment of substance use disorders on the lowest tier of the drug formulary developed and maintained by the health care service plan
Author: Beall (D-Campbell)
Status: Senate Appropriations suspense
AJ position: SUPPORT

Rehab Access

AB 389
Summary: would require DHCS to support SUD peer navigators for Emergency Departments
Author: Arambula (D-Fresno)
Status: $20 million in state budget to support SUD peer navigators for ED pilot projects
AJ position: SUPPORT

AB 1468
Summary: would charge opioid makers and distributors to help fund opioid use disorder prevention and treatment programs
Author: McCarty (D-Sacramento)
Status: Assembly Floor; two-thirds vote required

SB 10
Summary: would establish behavioral health services and/ or SUD treatment peer support specialist certification program; specialists could be eligible for Medi-Cal funding
Author: Beall (D-Campbell)
AJ position: SUPPORT
Status: Assembly Appropriations

SB 42
Summary: would provide a person with the right to request that, upon his or her release from a county jail, he or she be assisted in entering a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program; would also require a person who is released from jail after being incarcerated for more than 30 days to be provided with at least 3 days’ supply of any necessary medication
Author: Skinner (D-Berkeley)
Status: Assembly Appropriations

Special Populations

AB 1058
Summary: would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to establish a pilot program in several counties to support the integration of specialty mental health services and substance use disorder treatment provided under the Medi-Cal program
Author: Salas (D-Bakersfield)
Status: Senate Appropriations suspense

AB 1304
Summary: provides a sentence-reduction program for qualified parolees who voluntarily receive at least six months of medication-assisted treatment. 
Author: Waldron (R- Escondido)
Status: In committee
AJ Position: Support. A similar model in Kentucky has proven effective in reducing reincarceration rates, as well as opioid and alcohol use.

SB 445
Summary: would require DHCS to convene an expert panel as part of an existing advisory body or workgroup, on or before January 1, 2021, to advise DHCS solely on the development of youth substance use disorder (SUD) treatment quality standards, as specified.
Author: Portantino (D- San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys)
Status: Vetoed; policy advocates referred to Behavioral Stakeholder Advisory Committee

Naloxone Access

AB 714
Summary: exempts inpatient facilities from requirement to prescribe naloxone concurrent with certain opioid prescriptions
Author: Wood (D-Eureka)
Status: Chaptered

Safe Injection

AB 362
Summary: Authorize San Francisco to operate safe injection site for users of dangerous drugs. While this is opposed by the current federal administration, it is an important step forward in harm reduction.
Author: Eggman (D-Stockton)
Status: Senate Health

SB 689
Summary: Would require localities to opt-in via ordinance or resolution before the California Department of Public Health can authorize a needle exchange in that area.
Author: Moorlach (R-Orange County)
AJ position: OPPOSE


AB 528
Summary: would require a pharmacy to report to CURES no more than one working day after dispensing a controlled substance; would require controlled substance prescriber to consult the CURES to review the patient’s controlled substance history at least once every 6 months
Author: Low (D-Cupertino)
AJ position: SUPPORT
Status: Chaptered

Dual Diagnosis

AB 1058
Summary: Would require DHCS to engage in a stakeholder process to develop recommendations for addressing barriers to the delivery of integrated behavioral health services for Medi-Cal beneficiaries with co-occurring SUD and behavioral health conditions.
Author: Salas (D-Bakersfield)
Status: Senate Appropriations

Recovery & Treatment Facilities

AB 549
Summary: Alcoholism and drug abuse recovery or treatment facilities spot bill
Author: Diep (R-Huntington Beach)

AB 615
Summary: Would make giving or receiving remuneration or anything of value for the referral of a person who is seeking alcoholism or drug misuse recovery and treatment services a crime
Author: Brough (R-San Juan Capistrano)
Status: Assembly Public Safety

AB 682
Summary: Would require the State Department of Public Health, to solicit a grant to develop a database to display information about the availability of beds in licensed residential alcoholism or drug misuse recovery or treatment facilities
Author: Eggman (D-Stockton)
Status: Assembly Appropriations Suspense
AJ position: SUPPORT

AB 704
Summary: Would require criminal record review of staff in an alcoholism or drug misuse recovery or treatment facility
Author: Patterson (R-Fresno)
Status: Assembly Appropriations Suspense

AB 920
Summary: Requires licensure of all outpatient alcoholism or drug misuse recovery or treatment programs receiving Drug Medi-Cal-Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS) funds. Licensure shall standards shall be the equivalent of American Society of Addiction Medicine. It is likely that all Medi-Cal payments for substance use disorder treatment will meet DMC-ODS standards after June, 2020
Author: Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach)
Status: Vetoed; policy advocates referred to DHCS

AB 940
Summary: Prohibits a recovery residence from engaging in paying a third party to refer a patient
Author: Melendez (R-Murrieta)
Status: Assembly Health (first committee)

SB 325
Summary: Would require SUD treatment outpatient facilities to be licensed by DHCS, unless already included in Drug Medi-Cal network; supported by CA Society of Addiction Medicine.
Author: Hill (D-Silicon Valley)
Status: Assembly Business & Professions

SB 486
Summary: Alcoholism and drug abuse recovery or treatment facilities spot bill
Author: Bates (R-Laguna Niguel)
Status: Senate Health (first committee)

SB 589
Summary: Would empower DHCS to prohibit an operator of a licensed alcoholism or drug misuse recovery or treatment facility from any form of advertising or marketing services from making a false or misleading statement about the entity’s products, goods, services, or geographical locations
Author: Bates (R-Laguna Niguel)
Status: Vetoed; Governor claims DHCS has no jurisdiction over such licensed facilities

AB 1779
Summary: Would establish, and require the department to adopt and implement, minimum standards for counties seeking to use state funding to offer recovery residences providing an alcohol- and drug-free environment for persons recovering from alcoholism or drug misuse
Author: Daly (D-Anaheim)
Status: Senate Appropriations Suspense

Opioid Prescribing

AB 888
Summary: Extends the requirement for a prescriber to discuss the risks associated with opioids to any adult patients before issuing the first prescription in a single course of treatment for a controlled substance containing an opioid.
Author: Low (D-Silicon Valley)
Status: Senate Business & Professions; double referral (Business & Professions, Health)

Involuntary Treatment

SB 590
Summary: Would authorize a parent, legal guardian, or spouse of a person to file a petition in the court for purposes of involuntary treatment of the person, if that person suffers from a substance use disorder.
Author: Stone (R-Murrieta)
Status: Assembly Appropriations
AJ Position: OPPOSE



AB 551
Summary: Details the types of drugs (including cannabis, fentanyl, methamphetamine) that a coroner must screen a deceased driver for (in addition to alcohol). The chemical results are to be reported monthly to the California Highway Patrol.
Author(s): Assembly Member William Brough (R-Dana Point)
Status: Vetoed by Governor
AJ Position: Support –Understanding how drugs and alcohol impair driving is necessary for crafting ever better policy for addressing the very serious issue of impaired drivers on our roadways