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SB-525 School closures: mental health effects.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/17/2021 09:00 PM
SB525:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 525


Introduced by Senator Grove

February 17, 2021


An act to add Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 131325) to Part 1 of Division 112 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to school closures and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 525, as introduced, Grove. School closures: mental health effects.
Existing law establishes the State Department of Public Health in the California Health and Human Services Agency. Existing law sets forth its powers and duties pertaining to, among other things, protecting, preserving, and advancing public health, including disseminating information regarding diseases.
This bill would require the department to conduct an annual study on the mental health effects of school closures on pupils in years when a state or local emergency declaration results in school closures. The bill would require the department to confer with the State Department of Education, the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, and the University of California on the design on the study. The bill would require the department to provide quarterly updates on the study’s progress by posting an update on its internet website. The bill would also require the department to report results of the study and make recommendations to the Legislature, as specified.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 131325) is added to Part 1 of Division 112 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
CHAPTER  4. Mental Health Effects of School Closures

131325.
 (a) The department shall conduct an annual study on the mental health effects of school closures on pupils in years when a state or local emergency declaration results in school closures.
(b) The department shall confer with the State Department of Education, the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, and the University of California on the design of the study.
(c) The department shall provide quarterly updates on the study’s progress by posting an update on its internet website.

131326.
 (a) The department shall report the results of the study to the Legislature in years when a study is conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 131325.
(1) The first report shall be submitted to the Legislature six months after the date the bill is signed.
(2) Subsequent reports shall be submitted 18 months after the date the first school closure occurred.
(b) The report pursuant to subdivision (a) shall contain recommendations to the Legislature on how to address any adverse mental health effects of school closures on pupils.
(c) The report pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

SEC. 2.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widespread and prolonged school closures. It is of urgent need that we learn of the effects of those closures are having on pupils in order for the Legislature to implement recommendations to help those pupils.