AB 988 (Bauer – Kahan) – Promising Developments

Some new wind in the sails of the Miles Hall Lifeline and Suicide Prevention Act. AB 988 was recently amended to set the 988 surcharge in California for the 2023 and 2024 calendar years at $0.08 per access line per month and, for years beginning January 1, 2025, at an amount based on a specified formula, but no greater than $0.30 per access line per month. 

The new version of the bill will NOT be opposed by California Cable and Communications Association, nor AT&T, although there may still be opposition from various other segments of these industries. The initial fee will help to stand up more call centers across the state, and the fee ongoing will hopefully be sufficient to, in conjunction with other federal and state funds, ensure the proper and ongoing operations of new call centers. What the fee as currently proposed probably won’t afford is additional services and linkages at the county level. 

The real excitement on AB 988 will come at the end of June as the bill will be heard on back to back days (June 27 and 28) in the Senate Health and Governmental Organization Committees. CSAP advocates SYASL are assisting the author in counting votes.

CSAP extends its gratitude to those members (you know who you are) who have kept hope alive on this issue and are helping to advocate at the local level with their legislators. Please keep it up!

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