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SB-1138 Food options: plant-based meals.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 09/18/2018 09:00 PM
SB1138:v94#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 1138
CHAPTER 512

An act to add Section 1265.10 to the Health and Safety Code, and to amend Section 2084 of the Penal Code, relating to nutrition.

[ Approved by Governor  September 18, 2018. Filed with Secretary of State  September 18, 2018. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1138, Skinner. Food options: plant-based meals.
(1) Existing law requires a licensed general acute care hospital, acute psychiatric hospital, skilled nursing facility, intermediate care facility, special hospital, and nursing facility to employ a dietitian. Existing law imposes criminal sanctions for a violation of provisions, or willful or repeated violations of rules or regulations adopted pursuant to provisions, relating to these licensed facilities.
This bill would require these licensed facilities to make available wholesome, plant-based meals of such variety as to meet the needs of patients in accordance with their physicians’ orders. The bill would exclude this requirement from the criminal sanctions.
(2) Existing law requires each prison inmate to be provided with sufficient plain and wholesome food of such variety as may be most conducive to good health.
This bill would require the food provided to those inmates to include the availability of plant-based meals. The bill would require the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to develop a plan to make available the plant-based meals on an overall cost-neutral basis.
(3) This bill would make legislative findings and declarations in support of its provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Public institutions such as licensed health care facilities and state prisons that provide food to “captive audiences” have a particular responsibility to provide a diversity of healthy meals that are acceptable to most religions, those with ethical dietary beliefs, and those with known food sensitivities.
(b) In 2017, the American Medical Association adopted a policy, entitled Healthy Food Options in Hospitals (H-150.949), that calls on hospitals to improve the health of patients, staff, and visitors by providing a variety of healthful food, including plant-based meals.
(c) Inmates are required to be provided with sufficient plain and wholesome food of such variety as may be most conducive to good health. Plant-based meals are mostly unavailable to inmates. Vegetarian meals are required to be provided upon request of an inmate with any religious, personal, or ethical dietary need, but often times, these meals are not strictly plant based and contain milk or egg products.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1265.10 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

1265.10.
 (a) A licensed health facility, as defined in subdivision (a), (b), (c), (d), (f), or (k) of Section 1250, shall make available wholesome, plant-based meals of such variety as to meet the needs of patients in accordance with their physicians’ orders.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, including, but not limited to, Section 1290, a violation of this section shall not constitute a crime.
(c) For the purposes of this section, “plant-based meals” shall mean entire meals that contain no animal products or byproducts, including meat, poultry, fish, dairy, or eggs.

SEC. 3.

 Section 2084 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

2084.
 (a) The department shall provide each prisoner with a bed, sufficient covering of blankets, and with garments of substantial material and of distinctive manufacture, and with sufficient plain and wholesome food of such variety as may be most conducive to good health and that shall include the availability of plant-based meals.
(b) The department shall develop a plan to make available the plant-based meals described in subdivision (a) on an overall cost-neutral basis.
(c) For the purposes of this section, “plant-based meals” shall mean entire meals that contain no animal products or byproducts, including meat, poultry, fish, dairy, or eggs.