Proposed California Legislation

Psychotropic Medication Bill Package 2016

SB 1174

Issue: Prescriber Oversight

Author: Senator McGuire

Sponsor: NCYL

SB 1174 would establish a process for the Medical Board of California to review and investigate psychotropic medication prescription patterns among California children. Specifically, this bill enables the Medical Board of California to collect and analyze data, and, where warranted, conduct investigations of physicians who frequently prescribe outside recognized safety parameters for children. Treatments with the greatest risks to children’s health would be flagged and analyzed in a physician’s prescribing history.

SB 1291

Issue: Availability of Mental Health Services for Children in Foster Care

Author: Senator Beall

Sponsor: NCYL

SB 1291 would improve the ability of the State and counties to oversee mental health services for foster children and youth and to track outcomes related to those services. Specifically, this bill calls for annual county Foster Care Mental Health Plans that detail services, access, timeliness, and quality for children’s mental health needs.

SB 253

Issue: Support for the Courts

Author: Senator Monning

Principal Coauthor: Assemblymember Chiu

Sponsor: NCYL

This bill aims to strengthen the court authorization process for foster children. The bill would establish the following:

  • Judges, in making their determination to authorize psychotropic medications, will be provided comprehensive treatment information, alternatives, and treatment history.
  • Second opinion criteria for the most extreme prescribing cases such as for use with children ages 0-5, multiple antipsychotics, and three or more psychotropic medications at the same time.
  • Follow up monitoring requirements reported to the courts to clarify the safety and impact of the medication treatment.

Public Health Nurse Budget Request

To implement SB 319 (see below) this request asks the State to allocate $1.65 million to ensure that there are enough public health nurses who will be able to oversee and monitor psychotropic medication and mental health service provision for children and youth in foster care.  This funding request is eligible for a Federal match of an additional $4,95,000.

Approved Legislation

SB 319

Issue: Public Health Nurses- Psych Drug Monitoring and Medical Records

Author: Senator Beall

Principal Coauthors: Senator Mitchell, Assemblymember Chiu

Coauthors: Senator Monning, Assemblymember Gatto

Sponsor: NCYL

This bill will give public health nurses the authority to receive medical records directly from physicians serving foster children and highlights their role in the oversight of screening and monitoring appointments for psychotropic medications. With these changes public health nurses will be able to ensure that lab tests, other screenings, evaluations and assessments meet reasonable standards of medical practice in a more timely manner.


SB 484

Issue: Utilization of Psych Drugs – Group Home Oversight

Author: Senator Beall

Principal Coauthor: Assemblymember Chiu

Coauthor: Senator Monning. Senator Mitchell

Sponsor: NCYL

This bill will identify group homes that rely excessively on psychotropic medication, use such medications as the primary intervention for behavior problems, or employ other high-risk practices. When problem practices are found a corrective action plan will be formulated for safe and appropriate care for the children and youth in those homes.


SB 238

Issue: Psych Drug Data, Alerts, Training, JV-220 form

Authors: Senator Mitchell and Senator Beall

Coauthors: Assemblymember Chiu,

Assemblymember Gatto

Sponsor: CWDA

Co-Sponsor: NCYL

This bill will support crucial information sharing with those decision-makers who work with foster children:

  • Monthly data reports on Psych Med Use
  • Training for caregivers, dependency attorneys, judges, etc.
  • Expanded JV220 form identifying alternative treatments attempted as well as information given to caregivers concerning potential risks and benefits of treatment


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