The California Assisted Living Association (CALA), representing nearly 500 assisted living communities in California, is pleased with the progress made this year to increase oversight of assisted living communities.
“We achieved some important milestones this year, including increasing oversight of assisted living communities, increasing staff and administrator training, and significantly increasing civil penalties for the most serious situations,” says Sally Michael, CALA president. “We are especially pleased that AB 1570 (Chesbro-CALA sponsored) and its companion bill, SB 911 (Block), have been signed by Governor Brown. These bills significantly increase assisted living staff and administrator training and boost the degree of difficulty for the administrator exam. With these new requirements, both training and testing will be more comprehensive – leading to even better care for residents.”
In addition, the 2014-2015 state budget added funding for 71 new positions at the Community Care Licensing Division and $7.5 million to fund stronger oversight, including training for inspectors and their managers.
Michael notes that the signing of AB 2171 (Wieckowski), which focuses on codifying existing resident rights, was also a significant achievement. “CALA opposed an early version of the bill that granted attorneys a new private right of action and unlimited attorneys’ fees for suing assisted living communities, yet resulted in no benefit to residents. But the legislature rejected these drive-by lawsuits with huge payouts for lawyers in favor of resident rights. AB 2171 is now truly a residents’ rights bill.”
On the success of the legislative session, Michael says, “We are grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with legislators in our ongoing efforts to further improve care for our residents, and we look forward to building upon this momentum next year and in future years.”
Michael expresses disappointment over the failure of AB 1454 (Calderon), a bill to institute annual licensing inspections of assisted living communities. “We are very disappointed AB 1454 didn’t make it this year. CALA has been fighting to bring back annual inspections since the early 2000s when they were phased out in favor of less frequent inspections. We pledge to come back next year to pursue legislation that would implement annual inspections. Such inspections will help strengthen assisted living communities in California for residents and providers.”
Below is a list of the bills affecting assisted living communities that have been signed by the Governor. Visit CALA’s website for a comprehensive description of all the 2014 bills.
Signed into law by Governor Brown:
- AB 1523 (Atkins) Liability Insurance for RCFEs, Support
- AB 1570 (Chesbro) RCFE Administrator and Staff Training, Sponsor/Support
- AB 1572 (Eggman) RCFE Resident and Family Councils, Support
- AB 1899 (Brown) Bill to Ban Licensure After Abandonment, Support
- AB 2044 (Rodriguez) RCFE Staffing and Training, Support
- AB 2171 (Wieckowski) RCFE Resident Rights, Support
- AB 2236 (Maienschein and Stone) Civil Penalties, Neutral
- AB 2632 (Maienschein) DSS Criminal Background Checks, Support
- SB 895 (Corbett) Remedy of Deficiencies and Inspection Reports, Neutral
- SB 911 (Block) (companion bill to AB 1570) 911 Calls, RCFE Staff Training, Support
- SB 1153 (Leno) Suspension on New Admissions, Support
- SB 1382 (Block) Licensing Fees, Neutral