CHA News

Hospital Leaders Press for Worker Protections, Seismic Extension

What’s happening: CHA members and staff visited state lawmakers on Wednesday to promote Assembly Bill (AB) 977 (Rodriguez, D-Pomona) that would increase protections for health care workers in emergency departments (EDs) and Senate Bill (SB) 1432 (Caballero, D-Merced) that would provide a time extension to hospitals from California’s 2030 seismic construction mandates.  

What else to know: Both CHA-sponsored bills passed their respective chambers without a single negative vote. AB 977 moved forward on a 68-0 vote in January and SB 1432 by a 37-0 vote last week. 

On Wednesday, representatives from Cedars-Sinai, Cottage Health, Sutter Health, El Camino Health, Dignity Health, and Providence met with Senate Public Safety Committee members or staff to urge their support for AB 977. During the meetings, hospital, nurse, and physician leaders shared the difficulties they experience in providing high quality care while also being increasingly subject to violent threats and attacks.     

Legislators learned that under current law, violence against health care workers inside an ED is penalized differently depending on the category of health care worker and the location of the attack. Those who provide care to patients deserve a safe workplace, regardless of whether they provide that care in a hospital ED or in the broader community. 

Hospital leaders urged lawmakers to pass AB 977, which would extend certain penalties for violence committed against first responders to include all health care workers who provide services within a hospital’s ED.   

AB 977, cited in a Hospital Quality Institute analysis paper, is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Public Safety Committee on June 4. 

As for SB 1432, construction and government relations leaders from multiple hospital systems joined the CHA team to meet with Assembly Health committee members and advocate in support of the proposal. 

The bill is CHA’s proposal to extend the 2030 deadline, assess opportunities for financial support, and require the state to assess the financial and access impacts of the 2030 requirement.  

While meeting with over a dozen legislators or their staff: 

  • Leaders from Scripps and Cedars explained the importance of the additional time to meet the construction timeline given the local and state approval processes. The additional time will allow them to maintain services while managing construction requirements.  
  • Leaders from Cedars, Dignity, Providence, Sutter, and Adventist also explained the need to phase projects to manage the need to move beds amongst new and remodeled buildings to preserve and maintain services lines. 

Legislators said they understood the importance of the bill for their communities, gained an understanding of the complexity of the projects and the importance of additional time and support, and appreciated understanding the difficulty finding construction labor and time needed to manage the plan review process at the state level.  

SB 1432 now heads to the Assembly Health Committee.