One of the major factors affecting the fate of a piece of legislation is its potential cost. A number of California legislators will be considering just that when they return from summer recess this week, as several hundred bills make their way through the fiscal committees of both the Assembly and the Senate.

Among the bills in fiscal hearings this week are several bills supported by First 5 LA which are expected to improve the health, safety and school readiness of children ages 0 to 5. These include:

  • AB 2125 (Ridley-Thomas, D-Los Angeles): This bill would require California to review the plan that establishes standards and reimbursement rates for child care and development programs. The bill would also require the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to submit recommendations for a single reimbursement system that reflects the actual current cost of child care.
  • AB 357 (Pan, D- Sacramento): This legislation would establish an advisory board for the Department of Health Care Services on issues affecting children and their families. AB 357 would shift the Healthy Families Advisory Board to DHCS, rename it the Medi-Cal Children’s Health Advisory Panel, and increase community participation through changes in the body’s membership.
  • AB 1172 (Bocanegra, D-Pacoima): This bill is intended to increase the availability of oral health services for children by establishing the Virtual Dental Home (VDH). Using this innovative model, dental hygienists and dental assistants working in schools or other community settings are able to collaborate with dentists who are offsite. First 5 LA currently supports a VDH that has provided more than 450 dental screenings to low-income and special needs children in L.A. County’s Early Head Start and Head Start programs.

The complete list of state bills supported by First 5 LA can be found here. The last day for lawmakers to pass bills during the 2014 session is August 31. For more information, please contact Ruel Nolledo at [email protected].