The Senate Health Committee passed Senate Bill (SB) 336, authored by Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa), which would ensure local communities are aware of any changes to the state or local public health orders by requiring them to be posted to relevant websites and distributed via email.
"Yesterday, the Senate Health Committee agreed we must create a viable notification structure to ensure our local communities and businesses are aware of all new public health orders in a timely manner," said Senator Ochoa Bogh. "As we continue to navigate the effects of COVID-19, we must make sure struggling employers are not left scrambling to review new health orders that may significantly impact their daily operations. It is imperative now more than ever the Legislature and the Governor discuss ways to make sure communities are on the same page before we fully re-open on June 15th. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this issue beyond yesterday's aye votes."
Current law authorizes California's Department of Public Health (CDPH) to take necessary measures to study and prevent the spread of a communicable disease. Existing law also requires local health officers (LHO) to take similar steps to prevent the spread of the disease. Under existing law, these measures can be made effective immediately and have the force of law.
SB 336 would require CDPH and LHO to publish new COVID-19 measures on their respective websites to ensure that our communities and any impacted industries are aware of and prepared to make any required changes. It also requires CDPH and LHO to create a distribution list for those that would like to sign up for notifications about any change in requirements.
SB 336 would only be effective for the duration of this current public health crisis as caused by COVID-19. It would take effect immediately upon approval by the Legislature and the Governor.
The following statements were made in support of Senator Ochoa Bogh’s bill:
“Throughout this pandemic, businesses have been struggling to keep up with rapidly evolving state, local, and county requirements. This bill provides for a minimal guarantee of notice to allow businesses - and particularly small businesses - to be able to find new local public health orders and sign up for updates when such orders are changed. We see this as win-win proposition – ensuring businesses have notice of changes to public health requirements, and, by spreading that information efficiently, improving public health outcomes.” - Rob Moutrie, Policy Advocate for the California Chamber of Commerce
“We are grateful for the work that Senator Ochoa Bogh has done since getting elected to support our business community. SB 336 provides another tool in the arsenal that allows for business owners to prepare for changes to the public health orders through established communication portals within their communities.”- Peggi Hazlett, President/CEO of the Greater Ontario Business Council