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Gov. Newsom Signs Two PPE Bills

For CEOs, government relations executives

The Governor has concluded the 2020 legislative session by taking final action on the legislation sent to him. CHA’s 2020 Report on Legislation, which recaps the year’s new laws, will be out later this month. Among the Governor’s actions this week were the signing of two bills related to the storage of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Both bills were introduced with incredibly difficult requirements to stockpile extensive PPE for all health care providers. One of the bills originally required up to one year of PPE storage, but CHA was able to negotiate a narrower requirement.  

The first, Assembly Bill (AB) 2537 (Rodriguez, D-Pomona), requires hospitals to maintain an inventory of three months of specified PPE at normal consumption starting April 1. While there are penalties for failure to do so, there is also a provision to avoid the penalty if the employer could not meet the requirement due to issues beyond their control. This includes cases where the employer can demonstrate that equipment needed to meet the requirements of this section has been ordered from their manufacturer or distributor and not fulfilled or has been damaged or stolen. There are several questions regarding the PPE storage requirement. CHA staff will provide further details about the requirement as they become available from Cal/OSHA. 

Additionally, Senate Bill (SB) 275 (Pan, D-Sacramento) requires the creation of a Personal Protective Equipment Advisory Committee, which will include hospital and health care supply chain experts, to provide recommendations for establishing a state PPE stockpile, as well as health facility PPE inventory requirements. The bill also requires the Department of Industrial Relations to create regulations for hospital inventory requirements after considering the recommendations of the advisory committee. Ultimately, health facilities will be required to maintain a 45-day surge inventory of PPE by Jan. 1, 2023, or one year after the regulations are adopted, whichever is later.  

While AB 2537 requires a more immediate inventory of PPE, SB 275 will likely create the ultimate requirement for PPE inventory based on stakeholder discussion and involvement. Please watch for more information about these bills in the coming months.