ASSEMBLY BILL 799 (ROBINSON – 1982)
Chapter 328, Statutes of 1982 - AB 799
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Numerous sections of the Health and Safety Code and Welfare and Institutions Code related to public social services were affected in 1982 following legislative passage of Assembly Bill 799. (See Exhibit A, #1g) Assembly member Herschel Rosenthal introduced the measure on March 5, 1981, but he was later replaced as author by Assembly member Bill Lockyer, who was later replaced by Assembly member Richard Robinson. (See Exhibit A, #1a, #1e and #1f) As Assembly Bill 799, a budget trailer bill, proceeded through the Assembly and the Senate in 1981, it came out of each House in substantially different forms. (See Exhibit A, #14)
As introduced and considered in the Assembly Committee on Human Services, Assembly Bill 799 addressed eligibility criteria for AFDC, specifically an exemption for funeral expenses. (See Exhibit A, #1a and #17a) Senate amendments by the Committee on Health and Welfare expanded on the subject of the bill, making it a vehicle to address changes in the AFDC program; at this time, Assembly member Lockyer replaced Assembly member Rosenthal as author. (See Exhibit A, #1e and #17a)
Because neither House would accept the other’s version of the bill, this measure was sent to a Conference Committee on September 4, 1981. (See Exhibit A, #2) The purpose of a Conference Committee is to bring together six legislators, three from each House, in an attempt to reach a compromise on a bill’s language which is acceptable to both the Senate and the Assembly.
The Conference Committee was appointed, but no action was taken that year. (See Exhibit A, #2) It was not until May 20, 1982 that the bill was taken up again, new members of the Committee appointed, and the measure completely revised. (Id.) The early provisions of the measure were deleted and replaced, and Assembly member Robinson was substituted in as author. (See Exhibit A, #1f and #14)
It was in the Conference Committee amendments that virtually all of the provisions enacted by the bill first appeared. (See Exhibit A, #1f) The Conference Complete analysis of the Senate Republican Caucus stated that the “Conference Amendments delete all previous provisions of the bill. This bill, along with AB 3480 (Robinson-D), is the trailer bill to the budget (AB 21) which reforms Medi-Cal.” (See Exhibit A, #14)
The Senate and Assembly both approved the Conference Committee version on June 25, 1982. (See Exhibit A, #1f) Assembly Bill 799 was signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., on June 30, 1982, and recorded on that date by the Secretary of State as Chapter 328 of the Statutes of 1982. (See Exhibit A, #1g and #2)
Assembly Bill 799 contained an urgency clause that caused the bill to become effective immediately upon enactment. (See Exhibit A, #1g) The urgency clause, found in uncodified section 64 of the bill, stated the reason for the urgency as
In order to maintain the fiscal integrity and the quality of services under the Medi‑Cal program, it is necessary that this act go into immediate effect.
(See Exhibit A, #1g, page 46)
As enrolled and forwarded to the Governor, Assembly Bill 799 was described in an Enrolled Bill Report of the Department of Health Services in this manner:
AB 799 makes a number of very substantial changes in the Medical program including those reductions in reimbursement, eligibility standards, and benefits deemed necessary by the Legislature and the Administration to balance the FY 1982-83 Budget.