CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services 07/08/2011

Medi-Cal

AB 396 (Mitchell) – Support
As Amended on May 12, 2011

AB 396, by Assembly Member Holly Mitchell, would provide the opportunity for counties to receive federal funding for the inpatient medical costs of juvenile detainees. 

Specifically, AB 396 would allow counties to draw down federal matching funds for the inpatient medical treatment provided to minors who are outside of a county detention facility for more than 24 hours. 

AB 396 has been referred to both the Senate Health Committee and the Senate Public Safety Committee. The Senate Public Safety Committee passed the measure on July 6, and it now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

Child Welfare Services/Foster Care

AB 212 (Beall) – Support
As Amended on June 21, 2011

AB 212, by Assembly Member Jim Beall, would implement technical provisions related to last year’s landmark foster care legislation, the California Fostering Connections to Success Act of 2010 (AB 12). 
AB 212 is the result of efforts by counties, stakeholders, and Department of Social Services staff to “clean up” some provisions of AB 12. To that end, AB 212 mostly focuses on implementing KinGAP eligibility for young adults aged 18 to 21, and streamlining the assessment portion of the legal guardianship and adoptions process. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed AB 212 on July 5, and it now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

AB 709 (Brownley) – Support
As Amended on April 6, 2011

AB 709, by Assembly Member Julia Brownley, would ensure the timely enrollment of foster youth who must transfer to a new school. 

Existing law requires a school to immediately enroll a foster child, even if the child is unable to produce the records normally required for enrollment. This includes previous academic records, proof of residency, and medical records. However, existing law does not address the requirement to produce proof of immunization or a vaccination history prior to enrollment. AB 709 addresses this discrepancy by allowing schools to waive the vaccination record requirement for foster youth. 

CSAC supports the bill, which was passed unanimously by the Senate Education Committee on June 22 and is now on the Senate’s Third Reading File. 

AB 823 (Dickinson) – Support
As Amended on June 27, 2011

AB 823, by Assembly Member Roger Dickinson, would create a California Children’s Cabinet tasked with ensuring better coordination and delivery of services to our children and their families. 

The bill would specifically create the Children’s Cabinet of California and give Governor Jerry Brown the authority to appoint the members. All state agencies that have jurisdiction over the well-being of children and families would be included, and the Cabinet must meet by March 1, 2012. This model is similar to Children’s Cabinets in approximately 20 states throughout the country, and will expand the existing Child Welfare Council (CWC) and State Interagency Team (SIT) models to align public resources for the healthy growth and development of all children and youth in California. 

By coordinating the continuum of children’s services in California and working to streamline and maximize available private and federal funding, counties believe that the creation of a California Children’s Cabinet will have long-term social and economic benefits for all residents. It is for these reasons that CSAC supports the bill. The Senate Human Services Committee passed the bill on July 5, and it now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

Mental Health

AB 1297 (Chesbro) – Support
As Proposed to be Amended 

AB 1297, a bill by Assembly Member Wesley Chesbro, would ensure timely federal reimbursement to counties for providing Specialty Mental Health Managed Care services provided by counties. 

Specifically, AB 1297 would align the state’s requirements for the Specialty Medi-Cal Mental Health Managed Care program with existing federal requirements, which will help maximize federal reimbursements for these services. AB 1297 would accomplish this by requiring the state and the California Mental Health Directors Association to develop a reimbursement methodology that conforms to federal Medicaid requirements and approved Medicaid state plan and waivers. 

Counties believe that AB 1297 will both streamline and enhance our ability to draw down timely federal reimbursements for Specialty Medi-Cal Mental Health Managed Care services – all at no cost to the state’s General Fund. It is for these reasons that CSAC supports AB 1297. The Senate Health Committee passed AB 1297 with amendments on July 6, and once the amendments have been approved, it will go to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Health and Public Health

AB 1066 (Pérez) – Support
As Amended on June 15, 2011

AB 1066, by Assembly Speaker John Pérez, has been introduced to clean up some of the technical language contained in last year’s Section 1115 Medicaid Hospital Financing Demonstration Waiver bills, SB 208 (Steinberg) and AB 302 (Pérez). 

AB 1066 clarifies some items related to the county-run coverage expansion projects, including renaming the county Coverage Expansion and Enrollment Demonstration (CEED) projects referred to in previous legislation to Low Income Health Program (LIHP). Also, under AB 1066, the state’s deadline for authorizing new LIHP’s would be July 1, 2011, and counties could opt to offer coverage to those with incomes above 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) and up to 200 percent FPL. Lastly, the bill authorizes and clarifies the transfer of some funds from the previous Medicaid Hospital Financing Waiver.

CSAC, along with the County Welfare Directors Association and the County Health Executives Association of California, have supported AB 1066 throughout this process. The Senate passed the bill on July 7 and it now goes to the Governor. 

CalFresh (Food Stamps)

AB 402 (Skinner) – Support
As Amended on June 30, 2011

AB 402, by Assembly Member Nancy Skinner, would help combat child hunger by making it easier to coordinate outreach efforts for the School Meal and CalFresh Programs. 

The bill builds on the eligibility similarities of the School Meal and CalFresh programs by giving school districts the option to help initiate a confidential CalFresh application for students enrolled in the School Meal program. AB 402 will allow, at the option of the local school district and CalFresh administering agency, the confidential School Meal application to be utilized to initiate a confidential CalFresh application. 

Assembly Bill 402 will build a bridge between two federal programs to help feed our youngest and most vulnerable residents throughout the year, not just on school days. It is for these reasons that CSAC supports AB 402.

The Senate Human Services Committee passed the bill on June 28 and it is now on the Senate Floor.

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