CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services 10/07/2011

DHCS Releases Transition Plans for Transferring Certain Medi-Cal Functions

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has released two transition plans describing the state’s path for transferring certain Medi-Cal functions from other existing departments. 
Specifically, the two plans describe how the state will transfer Medi-Cal Related Specialty Mental Health Services from the Department of Mental Health and also the Drug Medi-Cal Treatment Program from the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs to DHCS. 

Both transfers of Medi-Cal functions are required by statute to be completed by July 1, 2012, and the transition plans are the first step in that process. The plans were developed with stakeholder input through a series of public meetings over the latter part of the summer, and DHCS has vowed to provide public updates every two months starting November 15, 2011. The plans will also be reviewed by the appropriate legislative and budget committees next spring. 

View Report: Transfer of the Medi-Cal Related Specialty Mental Health Services from the Department of Mental Health to the Department of Health Care Services Effective July 1, 2012.

View Report: Transfer of the Drug Medi-Cal Treatment Program from the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs tot eh Department of Health Care Services Effective July 1, 2012.

Child Welfare Services and Foster Youth

AB 194 (Beall) – Support
Chapter No. 458, Statutes of 2011

AB 194, a bill by Assembly Member Jim Beall, grants foster youth priority enrollment in a public university or community college system until January 1, 2017. Governor Brown signed AB 194 into law on October 4, 2011. 

AB 212 (Beall) – Support
Chapter No. 459, Statutes of 2011

AB 212, by Assembly Member Jim Beall, implements 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, as well as KinGAP payments and the fingerprinting of guardians. 

Governor Brown signed AB 212 into law on October 4, 2011. 

SB 578 (Negrete McLeod) – Support
Chapter No. 472, Statutes of 2011

SB 578, a bill by Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod, will help foster children graduate from high school by establishing a system to recognize and properly classify previous coursework or credit from other schools and institutions. 

Counties believe that SB 578 will give foster youth the opportunity to apply prior satisfactorily completed work toward a high school diploma and thereby increase the population of foster youth who are able to satisfactorily complete educational requirements and graduate from high school. 

Governor Brown signed SB 578 into law on October 4, 2011. 

AB 709 (Brownley) – Support
Chapter No. 463, Statutes of 2011

AB 709, by Assembly Member Julia Brownley, will 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 temporarily waive the vaccination record requirement for foster youth. 

Governor Brown signed AB 709 into law on October 4, 2011. 

AB 717 (Ammiano) – Support
Chapter No. 468, Statutes of 2011

AB 717, by Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, will improve the use and operation of the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI).

The CACI is a tool used by county child welfare agencies when conducting investigations and hiring of staff. However, because of the sensitive information within the system, CACI has been the target of litigation throughout the years. A result of some of that litigation is a due process structure for persons listed on the CACI. Assembly Bill 717 will improve due process by, among other things, affording all persons listed in CACI the right to request a due process hearing if they have not already had the opportunity to do so. Assembly Bill 717 will also help streamline the system by permitting “inconclusive” reports to be purged. Also, AB 717 will allow the Department of Justice to purge all reports in CACI where the person listed has reached 100 years of age. 

Governor Brown signed AB 717 into law on October 4, 2011.

Medi-Cal

AB 396 (Mitchell) – Support
Chapter No. 394, Statutes of 2011

AB 396, by Assembly Member Holly Mitchell, will provide the opportunity for counties to receive federal funding for the inpatient medical costs of juvenile detainees provided outside the grounds of a correctional facility. 

Specifically, AB 396 allows counties to draw down federal matching funds for the inpatient medical treatment provided to minors who are outside of a county detention facility. Recent amendments specified that counties (which elect to participate) and the state must negotiate the administrative costs associated with obtaining the federal funding annually, and counties will pay the nonfederal share of administrative costs. 

Governor Brown signed AB 396 into law on October 2, 2011, but implementation of AB 396 is pending federal approval.

CalWORKs and CalFresh

AB 6 (Fuentes) – No Position
Chapter No. 501 , Statutes of 2011

AB 6 by Assembly Member Felipe Fuentes makes policy changes to the administration of the CalWORKs and CalFresh programs.

Specifically, AB 6 reduces reporting requirements for CalWORKs and CalFresh from quarterly to a semi-annual by October 1, 2013. Additionally the measure eliminates the Statewide Finger Imaging System (SFIS) for CalFresh participants.

Governor Brown signed AB 6 on October 6, 2011.

AB 402 (Skinner) – Support
Chapter No. 504 , Statutes of 2011

AB 402 bill by Assembly Member Nancy Skinner makes it easier for counties and schools to coordinate outreach efforts for the School Meal and CalFresh Programs. 

Assembly Bill 402 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. Governor Brown signed this measure on October 6, 2011.

AB 959 (Jones) – Support
Chapter No. 506, Statutes of 2011

AB 959 by Assembly Member Brian Jones will increase efficiency in the CalWORKs and CalFresh programs by allowing for a one-month grace period during the discontinuance process. 

Assembly Bill 959 is aimed at increasing efficiency at the county level by allowing county eligibility staff to restore eligibility and prorate payments for cases that have been discontinued due to missing information if that information is received within 30 days of the discontinuance notice. 

Governor Brown signed the measure on October 6, 2011.

AB 1182 (Hernández, R.) – Support
Vetoed October 4, 2011

AB 1182, by Assembly Member Roger Hernández, would have allowed CalWORKs applicants and recipients to own reliable cars. 

AB 1182 would have specifically deleted the requirement that counties assess the value of a motor vehicle when determining or redetermining CalWORKs eligibility. 

Governor Brown vetoed AB 1182 on October 4, 2011, with this message: 
“I am returning Assembly Bill 1182 without my signature. This bill would allow a person applying for welfare to have one care, or possibly more, of any value, rather than a maximum value of $4,650 under current law. In the last year, the state has been forced to make steep reductions in many programs, including the state’s welfare-to-work program. As we into the new year, we may have to make additional cuts. Until we better understand the fiscal outlook, we should not be making changes of this kind.”

Adult Protective Services and Elder Care

SB 33 (Simitian) – Support
Chapter No. 372, Statutes of 2011

SB 33, by Senator Joe Simitian, repeals the sunset date for statute that designates certain financial institution employees as mandated reporters for suspected financial abuse of elder or dependent adults. 

Senator Simitian authored SB 1018 in 2007 to expand the definition of mandated reporters of elder or dependent adult abuse to those who work at financial institutions. Senate Bill 33 builds on the success of that statute by removing the January 1, 2013 sunset date. 

Governor Brown signed SB 33 into law on September 30, 2011. 

SB 718 (Vargas) – Support
Chapter No. 373, Statutes of 2011

SB 718, by Senator Juan Vargas, will make it easier to report suspected elder abuse.

Senate Bill 718 allows a county or long-term care ombudsman program to implement a confidential Internet reporting tool that mandated reporters may use to report suspected elder abuse. Senate Bill 718 also allows the state, in conjunction with counties and other stakeholders, to develop a form for written reports, as well. The bill also specifies the information to be gathered by both methods, which will speed efficiency in both making and processing reports of suspected elder abuse. Recent amendments also compel any county that chooses to use this method to issue reports on the system to the Legislature, which is a common state oversight tool. 
Governor Brown signed SB 718 into law on September 30, 2011. 

AB 1288 (Gordon) – Support
Chapter No. 370, Statutes of 2011

AB 1288, by Assembly Member Rich Gordon, will help protect the assets of vulnerable seniors or dependent adults from misuse and fraud while a conservatorship petition is pending in court. 

Assembly Bill 1288 specifically extends the period of time in which a public guardian or conservator may petition to protect the assets of seniors and dependent adults from 15 to 30 days. The bill also expands the scope of the possession or control of property by the guardian to include assets held in the name of a proposed conservatee’s trust, and recent amendments protect the rights of spouses of the wards or proposed conservatees. Assembly Bill 1288 was also recently amended to include direction on Certificates of Authority, which provide financial institutions with written recordable certification of the conservator’s intent to protect real property from being transferred, encumbered, or disposed of during the petition period. 

Governor Brown signed AB 1288 into law on September 30, 2011.

Health 

AB 581 (Pérez) – Support
Chapter No. 505, Statutes of 2011

AB 581 by Speaker John Pérez requires the state to seek federal, state, and private and philanthropic funds to participate in the federal Healthy Food Financing Initiative. The funding would be used to combat the prevalence of “food deserts” within communities – areas with little to no access to quality foods that are both healthy and affordable.

Governor Brown signed AB 581 into law on October 6, 2011.

SB 36 (Simitian) – Support
Chapter No. 416, Statutes of 2011

SB 36, by Senator Joe Simitian, allows counties to draw down federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding for children’s health insurance. 

Senate Bill 36 builds upon AB 495 (Chapter Number 648, Statutes of 2001), which established a mechanism for California counties to voluntarily put up the non-federal share of funding in order to draw down federal funding through the CHIP. Counties that elect to do so are able to attract federal matching dollars for children’s health coverage and build upon the foundation of the state’s Healthy Families Program. 
Governor Brown signed SB 36 into law on October 2, 2011.

Child Care

AB 101 (Pérez) – Watch
Vetoed on October 4, 2011

AB 101 by Assembly Member Pérez would have allowed family child care providers to form, join and participate in “provider organizations” for purposes of negotiating with state agencies.

Governor Brown vetoed AB 101 on October 4, 2011, and included the following message:

“Maintaining the quality and affordability of childcare is a very important goal. So too is making sure that working conditions are decent and fair for those who take care of our children. Balancing these objectives, however, as this bill attempts to do, is not easy or free from dispute. Today California, like the nation itself, is facing huge budget challenges. Given that reality, I am reluctant to embark on a program of this magnitude and potential cost. I am returning Assembly Bill 101 without my signature.” 

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