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Update: California Legislature Passes COVID-19 Relief Package

Posted 149 days ago ago by Jamee Villa    0 Comments  0 Likes Like Dislike

Legislature to Recess | Master Plan for Aging Work On Hold
On Monday, the Senate and Assembly passed two spending bills as part of a relief package that sends $1.1 billion in support to hospitals, facilities, local governments, and schools to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The larger of the two bills allocates $500 million, to be increased by $50 million as needed until reaching $1 billion, to lease and activate two hospitals, help public health officials access necessary equipment, and lend support to hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities.
Legislature Votes to Recess
Late Monday, the California Legislature voted to suspend its 2020 session from March 20 until April 13 in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Capitol and district staff will be allowed to work from home or remotely during the break.
Master Plan for Aging Work on Hold
Also in response to COVID-19, the California Department of Aging (CDA)  has announced that it is temporarily suspending Master Plan for Aging (MPA) activities until the end of March to allow the CDA team to focus on protecting and educating California’s older adults, people with disabilities, families, caregivers, and providers. Workgroup and subcommittee meetings, as well as the Webinar Wednesdays, will be suspended through March. 
Congress Expected to Pass Relief Bill
Today the Senate is expected to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), which was passed by the House last week.. A summary can be found HERE. The President is expected to sign the bill.  Congress and the Administration will then turn to hammering out the details on a third relief package.
Emergency Declaration Allows for 1135 Waivers
Last week, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency under the National Emergencies Act in response to COVID-19. Doing so invokes section 1135 of the Social Security Act, allowing the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to exercise the authority to temporarily waive or modify certain requirements of the Medicare, Medicaid, and State Children’s Health Insurance programs (CHIP) and of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy Rule (HIPAA) during a public health emergency.

A fact sheet released by CMS lists the blanket waivers that are now available as a result of the emergency declaration. 

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