Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi’s bill to prevent involuntary discharges during the pandemic

Please support AB 279 (Muratsuchi), sponsored by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, which would prohibit certain long term care resident evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill will be heard on April 13th, so it is important to submit your letters of support no later than noon on April 7th. Below we supply a sample support letter and directions on how to send it.

Many residents of California skilled nursing facilities (“SNFs”) and Intermediate Care Facilities (“ICFs”) face a terrible prospect in the ongoing pandemic: involuntary transfer to new facilities, sight unseen, far from their families and support networks. AB 279 would prohibit the owner of an ICF or SNF from transferring a resident to another facility, during any declared state of emergency relating to the coronavirus disease, except if the owner files for bankruptcy. The bill’s protections would expire one year after the state of emergency ends, to permit residents and their families to assess new facilities if their current homes are going to close.

Throughout the pandemic, facilities across the state of California have failed to observe legal protections given to residents to prevent traumatic involuntary transfers. There could not be a worse time for such misconduct, because current restrictions on visitation make it nearly impossible for residents and their families to assess the safety and care at new facilities. This is the plight of the residents of Sakura Gardens, an ICF in Los Angeles that has been for decades the only home for dozens of the city’s elderly Japanese-American citizens. Read the AB 279 Fact Sheet for more information.

The AB-279 sample support letter can be uploaded using the Position Letter Portal at https://calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates/. You will have to create an account if you do not already have one. If you cannot create an account, we recommend emailing it directly to the Assembly Health Committee at  AHEA.Committee@assembly.ca.gov or faxing the letter to their office at (916) 319-2197.

The letter can also be sent by mail to the address in the sample support letter in time for receipt by April 7th.