CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services

Senate Leader Unveils Committee Chairs

Senate pro Tempore Kevin de Lèon announced committee chairs this week. The following is a summary of the key health and human services posts.

Senate Health Committee: Senate pro Tempore reappointed Senator Ed Hernandez, O.D., to chair the Senate Health Committee. Senator Hernandez – a former health care provider in predominantly low-income communities – chaired the Senate Health Committee the last several years.

Senate Human Services Committee: Senator Mike McGuire, newly elected to serve the California State Senate’s 2nd district was appointed by Senate pro Tempore Kevin de Lèon to chair the Senate Human Services Committee.

Prior to being elected to the Senate, he served on the Sonoma Board of Supervisors, Healdsburg City Council and the Healdsburg School Board.

Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 3 on Health and Human Services: Senator Holly Mitchell was appointed by Senate pro Tempore Kevin de Lèon to serve as the chair of Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Health and Human Services. Senator Mitchell was reelected this past November to serve the 30th district of the California State Senate.

During 2014, Senator Mitchell served on the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 5. Prior to the Senate, she served in California State Assembly, where she chaired the Assembly’s Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services and the Select Committee on Foster Youth.

Senator Mark Leno will continue to chair Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee.

Assembly Leader Announces Full Committee Assignments

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins announced committee appointments for the 2015-16 legislative session. The health and human services committee assignments include:

Assembly Health Committee

Assembly Health Committee will be chaired by Assembly Member Rob Bonta and the vice chair will be Assembly Member Brian Maienschein. Members include Assembly Members Susan Bonilla, Autumn Burke, Rocky Cha´vez, David Chiu, Jimmy Gomez, Lorena Gonzalez, Roger Herna´ndez, Tom Lackey, Adrin Nazarian, Jim Patterson, Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, Freddie Rodriguez, Miguel Santiago, Marc Steinorth, Tony Thurmond, Marie Waldron, and Jim Wood.

Assembly Human Services Committee

Assembly Member Kansen Chu will be chairing Assembly Human Services with Assembly Member Chad Mayes serving as vice chair. Members include Assembly Ian Calderon, Patty Lopez, Brain Maienschein, Mark Stone, and Tony Thurmond.

Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services

Assembly Member Tony Thurmond will be chairing Budget Subcommittee No. 1. Joining him on the subcommittee will be Assembly Members Rob Bonta, David Chiu, Shannon Grove, and Brian W. Jones.

California’s State Innovation Model Testing Grant not awarded by CMS

Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley announced that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) did not fund California’s State Innovation Model Testing Grant.

Over $622 million in State Innovation Model Test Awards will support 11 new awardees — Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Washington — in implementing their State Health Care Innovation Plans. These states join six award recipients from the first round of awards: Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon and Vermont.

LAO Releases Report Outlining Options for a State EITC

In June 2014, the California Legislature directed the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) to prepare a report outlining possible structures for a state-administered Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This week, the LAO released the report as directed, which included an overview of the federal EITC and outlined three potential structures for California to consider. California could:

  • Build on the existing federal EITC by matching 15 percent of the federal credit, thereby providing a relatively small credit to a large amount of people.
  • Provide a credit to working families with the lowest income, which would increase the amount of the credit granted by focusing on a more restricted population
  • Provide a credit to adults without dependents, which would build upon the existing federal EITC, where currently adults without dependents receive relatively smaller credits than adults with dependents.

The full report can be found here.

Introduced Bills

AB 72 (Bonta) – Medi-Cal: Demonstration Project

Assembly Bill 72, as introduced by Assembly Member Rob Bonta is a legislative vehicle to implement the Department of Health Care Services’ (DHCS) application to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for California’s successor Section 1115 Medicaid Waiver. AB 72 as currently written would also require the Department to consult with interested stakeholders. Further, it would only allow the Department of Health Care services to implement the waiver or demonstration project upon the submittal of an implementation plan to the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature at least 60 days prior to any appropriation.

CSAC is engaged in waiver discussions with DHCS and other stakeholders and will advocate for a five-year successor waiver that provides funding to counties at the current levels.

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