SB 1416 is the bill in Senator Eggman’s eight bill package on conservatorship / LPS reform that would change the definition of grave disability. It has always been understood that this would be the most controversial bill in Senator Eggman’s bill package, and that it would be the most difficult bill in the package to get through the Assembly. In the Assembly, SB 1416 needs to be heard in the Assembly Health Committee (chaired by Assemblyman Wood) and the Assembly Judiciary Committee (chaired by Assemblyman Stone). You may recall that these two committees held an information hearing in December on the LPS Act, and that they are co-authoring a competing bill, AB 2275.
Senator Eggman has been informed that neither Assembly committee will set SB 1416 for a hearing this year. The chairmen of these committees have this prerogative under the current house rules.
CSAP has always understood that the Assembly would have problems with SB 1416; however, we were hopeful that the bill would be set and that there could at least be a discussion in the Assembly this year about updating the definition of grave disability in California. CSAP and others were already counting votes in these two committees and preparing to, if necessary, “roll the chairs” (i.e. get the bill through over the chairs’ objections with other members voting aye). These advocacy efforts were gaining steam, and we believe that the decision to not set the bill is based on the possibility that only the chairmen and perhaps one or two other members of either committee were prepared to vote no. The most surefire way for Chairman Wood and Chairman Stone to ensure that the bill doesn’t go forward in 2022 is simply to not allow any hearings on it.
How the Senate responds to all of this waits to be seen. The fate of AB 2275 might now be in doubt, if the Senate decides to respond in kind.
Additionally, we may now see many legislators in both houses request that the Governor reconsider and rethink possible definitional changes within the context of his CARE Court proposal.
Also, discussions have resuscitated over possibly placing an initiative on the 2024 statewide ballot to pursue the change proposed in SB 1416 as well as other modifications to current law.
A reminder: Assemblymember Stone is not seeking reelection and the Assembly Judiciary Committee will soon have a new chair (by January 2023 at the latest).
Lastly, there may also unfortunately be some shenanigans with respect to Senator Eggman’s SB 965, related to hearsay in conservatorship proceedings.