CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services 01/14/2011

Health and Human Services Budget Clarifications

The CSAC Budget Action Bulletin released on Monday contains a detailed description of the health and human services budget proposals, including the realignment proposal. Since Monday, CSAC has obtained additional details on some of the proposals. The following are updates to that document. 

  • Realignment. The alcohol and drug programs proposed for Phase I realignment specifically include shifting the full costs of Drug Medi-Cal, drug courts and Perinatal Drug programs to counties. The Phase II narrative omitted that the Administration is proposing to shift Medi-Cal Administration from counties to the state.
  • First 5 (Proposition 10). The Governor is proposing to shift $1 billion in Proposition 10 funding from the state and local commissions in order to fund Medi-Cal services for children up to age five. In addition, the Administration is proposing to permanently divert 50 percent of the annual revenue from Proposition 10 to the state General Fund. The Administration is seeking to put a measure on the June ballot to divert these funds. If enacted by the voters, it would be implemented on July 1, 2011.

Low Income Health Program (LIHP) Application Released Today

We had previously reported that the Department of Health Care Services was expected to release the application for the Low Income Health Program (LIHP) last week, but it was delayed and should be online by today (January 14). Please check the Department’s website for the application. In addition, the Department updated the site in the last few weeks, including the Frequently Asked Questions section. Counties are encouraged to check the site regularly for new information. 

CalWORKs

AB 1 (Pérez) – Support
As Introduced December 6, 2010

AB 1, by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, would appropriate $233.5 million for CalWORKs Stage Three child care, effective immediately upon passage. 

AB 1 fulfills Speaker Pérez’s promise to attempt to restore Governor Schwarzenegger’s October 8 veto of $256 million in CalWORKs Stage Three child care subsidies from the 2010-11 budget. Since that time, more than 40 local county First 5 Commissions have stepped in to provide bridge loan funding to sustain the program until a legislative solution is adopted. 

AB 1 would reappropriate $118 million in unobligated balances from the 2009 federal Child Care and Development Block Grant, and provide $115.5 million from the state General Fund for the program. 

While the bill is not keyed as an urgency bill, it would go into immediate effect because it “makes appropriations for the usual and current expenses of the state.” According to the Legislative Counsel’s Office, this clause also categorizes the bill as a majority vote bill, rather than the two-thirds that is usually required for expenditures. Lastly, AB 1 also contains language to make it retroactive to November 1, 2010.

CSAC is supporting the bill because it funds an important component of the CalWORKs continuum by creating opportunities for working parents to obtain and maintain stable employment. However, with the introduction of Governor Brown’s first budget this week, in which he proposes to fund Stage three child care, it is likely that the bill will become inactive. 

AB 1 is currently on the Assembly Floor Third Reading File. 

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