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Newly Signed Bills Update Health, Broadband, Security

The laws are among those approved by Gov. Gavin Newsom at the end of the recent legislative session.

Aerial view of Sacramento and the Capitol building.
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California’s recent legislative session is receding in the rearview mirror but a host of laws newly signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom will shortly bring notable changes in information technology.

Before the deadline Sept. 30, Newsom signed a host of bills with impacts to IT and innovation in areas ranging from broadband to public health and vehicles to Internet security. Among the takeaways:

  • Assembly Bill 2256, from Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton, augments the Advisory Committee on the state’s Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative by adding “two local government officials, one appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly and the other appointed by the Senate Rules Committee,” as members.
  • AB 2752 by Assemblymember Jim Wood, D-Santa Rosa, adds specificity on tracking the accessibility of broadband and cable statewide. It authorizes the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to “collect information from providers of broadband services at the address level.” It further specifies that the Commission collect “granular data” on locations served by cable and video providers — meaning addresses. The bill bars the CPUC from “disclosing residential subscriber information.”
  • AB 2418, from Assemblymember Ash Kalra, D-San Jose, looks in on accountability and transparency around justice data. It requires state and local “prosecution offices” to collect and transmit basic informational “data elements” from each case to the state Department of Justice (DOJ). Offices must also collect specified data including the number of a defendant’s prior felony arrests and convictions. The DOJ would be responsible for “collecting data elements from agencies, as specified” and aggregating them, developing “consistent definitions and formats for data elements” and providing guidelines on data transmission to local agencies. Starting March 1, 2027, local agencies would have to collect data on cases where decisions to reject charges or initiative criminal proceedings “by way of complaint or indictment” have been made; and by June of that year, they’d have to send that data to the DOJ quarterly until June 1, 2028, and monthly thereafter. By Oct. 1, 2023, the DOJ must stand up the Prosecutorial Transparency Advisory Board, to ensure “transparency, accountability, and equitable access to prosecutorial data.” Working with that board, the DOJ would have until July 1, 2024, to create “a data dictionary that includes standardized definitions for each data element.” The DOJ would have until June 1, 2027, to collect data elements from agencies statewide; and until June 1, 2028, to aggregate and publish it — continuing to publish it quarterly for a year and monthly thereafter.
  • State Senate Bill 855, from state Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, gives the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) until Jan. 1, 2024, to stand up and run the Childhood Drowning Data Collection Pilot Program to gather “detailed data on childhood fatal and non-fatal drownings.” CDPH must work with five to 10 “county child death review teams or other local agencies” and report to “the appropriate legislative policy committees”; and develop a California Water Safety Action Plan for Children based on those reports, and a standardized form for counties to use in reporting drowning statistics.
  • SB 1193, also from Newman, lets the California Department of Motor Vehicles, in situations where it has to “mail, notify, deliver via certified or first class mail” written information, have that requirement “be satisfied by electronic notification” provided the person consents to electronic delivery. The bill authorizes the DMV to “adopt regulations to implement these provisions.”
  • AB 2392, from Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, requires makers of Internet-connected devices that are required to equip them with “reasonable” security features satisfy these provisions by ensuring the devices meet or exceed baseline criteria of “a labeling scheme” that conforms to aspects of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidance.
  • AB 2640, from Assemblymember Suzette Valladares, R-Santa Clarita, requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to create the California Food Allergy Resource Internet web page to “provide voluntary guidance to school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to help protect pupils with food allergies.” The bill requires CDE to make sure the website offers “practical information, planning steps, and strategies for reducing allergic reactions to food within schools and early education centers” as well as information on “state and federal resources available to pupils.” The bill encourages “local educational agencies to consult the internet web page and use it as an equitable resource to ensure the inclusiveness” of pupils with food allergies, and to make it available to pupils, parents and guardians.
  • AB 204, from Assemblymember Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, is a health omnibus bill with some significance for tech. It requires the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) to fund county jails at a flat rate for “reimbursement of information technology support and a portion of staff time utilized to facilitate telehealth interviews and evaluations of felony IST defendants in the jail.” The bill also makes one-time, flat rate funding at a department-set rate available to county sheriffs to “facilitate telehealth evaluations in the jail.” DSH, the bill specifies, will pay quarterly reimbursements in arrears and at a flat rate for “each telehealth evaluation conducted by the department for an IST defendant and facilitated by the jail.”
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.