PRESS RELEASE: Governor Newsom Signs SB-803 to bring Peer Support Services to California

September 25, 2020

Sacramento, CA – This morning Governor Newsom signed SB 803 (Beall, D- San Jose), which establishes statewide peer support training and certification standards and billing codes for peer support services, allowing counties to draw down millions in federal funding. Peer support specialists are people with lived experience with mental illness and substance use disorders who help people currently experiencing those hardships.

"Peer support services are an evidence-based, cost-effective model of care proven to reduce cost and increase participation in treatment. Forty-Eight other states have seen the benefit and value of peer support services; now it is time for California to catch up and establish a peer support specialist certification process."  – Senator Jim Beall

 “I’m thrilled to say that in California, we will have a statewide scope of practice, standardized curriculum, training and supervision standards, and certification protocol for peer support services. Our coalition of advocates and bi-partisan supporters rallied for Peer Support for years. It’s time to celebrate our progress and the next generation by continuing to advocate for mental health at the State level… and yes, third time’s a charm!” – Senator Jim Beall

This is the third year Senator Beall has carried this legislation and is celebrating the victory and legacy he leaves as he completes his final term in the California State Senate. Unlike prior years’ bills, SB 803 was carefully crafted to ameliorate the vast majority of state general fund costs, which Governor Newsom’s prior veto message flagged as a key concern.


Andrea Bonilla