Advocating on behalf of local environmental health programs in the California Legislature and the regulatory agencies has been a core role of CCDEH and CAEHA since the inception of the two groups. As a 501c3 non-profit organization, CCDEH is legally limited in the direct advocacy that it may engage it, so CAEHA performs that role on behalf of the local environmental health programs. CAEHA relies on the CCDEH Executive Committee to propose positions on legislation and agency actions through their subject-matter ad-hoc and standing policy committees. Subject to the ratification of the CAEHA Board of Directors, CCDEH’s recommended positions are adopted and advocated by CAEHA. Details of this process may be found under the CAEHA By laws and Procedure Manual at the following link:CAEHA Bylaws and Procedures
CURRENT 2020 LEGISLATIVE REPORT
Of the five CAEHA sponsored bills that we had introduced in March, only two survived the ruthless first cut by the Legislature. Upon realization of the severity of COVID-19 in early April, the Legislature culled its usual bill load by 60% in order to reduce pressure on the state budget and to focus its limited time and resources on COVID response. Of the 100 bills that the policy committees were asked to review, only 15 survived into July. Fortunately we are able to reach accord with the impacted stakeholders on the two remaining CAEHA bills – AB 2296 which establishes an optional alternative funding mechanism for the LPA program and AB 3336 which establishes food safety requirements under CalCode for ready-to-eat food deliveries. AB 3336 has been signed into law, but unfortunately AB 2296 was vetoed by the Governor who cited the additional cost to the state program as being excessive.
GUIDANCE FOR CAEHA MEMBERS’ ENGAGEMENT
CAEHA members are encouraged to assist in the advocacy effort though their jurisdictions, other affiliations or in their personal capacity. On occasion CAEHA members may be asked to write support or opposed letters or place calls into legislative offices. These calls to action would be found under MEMBER ACTION ALERT below.
Most local jurisdictions have their own lobbyists and have a process for engagement that CAEHA members are encouraged to follow.
Here is a useful guide to participating in the process: https://www.senate.ca.gov/citizensguide