CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services

CSAC Board Adopts Resolution to Combat Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

On May 28, the CSAC Board of Directors approved a resolution to affirm CSAC’s commitment to developing and supporting strategies to prevent, reduce and serve the child victims of commercial sexual exploitation and work to eliminate sex trafficking in California. The Board also approved the distribution of a sample resolution to counties for consideration by each County Board.

The commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is a pressing national, state, and local issue. The FBI estimates that 100,000 children in the United States are sold for sex each year, including child sex trafficking, child sex tourism, and child pornography.

In California, the issue is especially urgent. According to the FBI, three of the top 13 highest trafficking areas in the nation are located in California: San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the San Diego metropolitan areas. The age when most youth are lured into CSEC activities is shocking: the average age for boys is between eleven and thirteen, and for girls, it is between ages twelve to fourteen. Even more shocking: the average life expectancy of an exploited child from the time they first enter CSEC activities is 7 years (U.S. News & World Report, Oct. 16, 2005, “Young Lives for Sale” by Bay Fang).

County law enforcement, child welfare services, behavioral health, the courts, and community-based organizations all grapple with CSEC youth and report increasing numbers of exploited underage victims.

CSAC encourages all counties to adopt the sample resolution affirming their county’s commitment to addressing the CSEC issue.

Budget Conference Committee

This week, the joint Budget Conference Committee – comprised of Senator Mark Leno (Chair), Assembly Member Shirley Weber (Vice Chair), Senator Ricardo Lara, Senator Jim Nielsen, Assembly Member Richard Bloom, and Assembly Member Melissa Melendez –commenced hearing health and human services issues.

While the majority of items were held open, the Conference Committee did take the following actions:

Medi-Cal County Administration Funding . Prior to conference committee, both the Senate and Assembly Budget Subcommittees approved the Governor’s May Revision proposal to include $150 million for county Medi-Cal administration duties as well as an additional $31 million General Fund to bring the total proposed Medi-Cal County Administration funding for 2015-16 to about $245 million (all funds). The additional $31 million in funding utilizes unused current-year funding associated with CalFresh Caseload. In addition, the Conference Committee adopted budget bill language allowing the Department of Finance to augment county eligibility funding during the budget year if additional costs are identified. See CSAC’s Medi-Cal County Administration Funding Support Letter.

Earned Income Tax Credit. The Conference Committee adopted the Assembly’s version, which, like the Senate, approved the Governor’s proposed EITC with an additional requirement for the Franchise Tax Board to revert funds not used for EITC implementation. The Assembly’s version included intent language regarding the potential expansion of the EITC in future years.

Medi-Cal Caseload – Impact of President’s Executive Order on Immigration . Approved the Assembly’s version, with a 2-1 vote from both houses, which adopted the Legislative Analysts’ Office’s assumption of a 24-month phase-in of coverage for the President’s Executive Order on immigration. The Governor’s budget included $33.1 million ($27.8 million GF), assuming a 12-month phase in. During the hearing, the LAO stated that the 12 month phase-in was not consistent with historical phase-in timelines. The Assembly’s version reduced the Governor’s proposed funding by $11 million GF.

Other budget items of interest that remain open include:

CalWORKs Housing Support Program . The Governor’s May Revision provided $20 million to fund the CalWORKs Housing Support Program (HSP). CSAC is supporting CWDA’s budget request for a $30 million augmentation in funding. The Assembly approved the $30 million budget augmentation request, while the Senate has adopted the Governor’s proposal. The Conference Committee held this item open. See CSAC’s support letter for the CalWORKs HSP.

Foster Parent and Kinship Recruitment, Retention and Support . The Assembly approved the Governor’s proposal of $3.8 million ($2.8 GF) for investments in recruitment, retention and support of relative and foster parent and included an additional augmentation of $25 million GF. The Senate approved the Governor’s proposal. The Conference Committee also held this item open. CSAC supports the additional $25 budget augmentation and is working with a broad coalition. See the Coalition’s letter of support.

Commercially Sexually Exploited Children. The Governor’s May Revision proposed diverting $3.25 million in Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) funding intended for local services to victims of child sex trafficking to instead meet new federal mandates. The Assembly augmented the Governor’s proposal with $3.25 million GF to avoid the erosion of funding for the CSEC program as part of the Assembly’s foster care package. The Senate approved the Governor’s proposal. The Conference Committee held this item open.

Additional Conference items are included in the Conference Committee Agendas, which are provided below.


Human Services

It is unclear when, or if, the Conference Committee will return to the remaining open items. The Constitutional deadline to for the Legislature to pass the budget is June 15.

Moving to the Next House

Health Care Coverage for Undocumented Individuals
SB 4 (Lara) – NO POSITION 
As Amended on June 1, 2015

Senator Ricardo Lara’s SB 4, was passed by the Senate with 28 ‘aye’ votes and 11 ‘no’ votes. SB 4 as recently amended would extend full-scope Medi-Cal benefits to low-income undocumented immigrants under age 19. This is scaled down from the original proposal to provide health care coverage to all immigrants – estimated to cost up to $740 million.

On this issue, Governor Brown has signaled that California does not have the money to cover the undocumented population and has previously touted significant spending for Medi-Cal and health coverage in California.


AB 702 (Maienschein) – SUPPORT
As Introduced on February 25, 2015

The Assembly unanimously passed AB 702, by Assembly Member Brian Maienschein, which seeks to eliminate the requirement that temporary housing assistance be provided during one period of consecutive days up to 16 days. Instead, it would limit temporary housing assistance to a maximum of 16 calendar days. AB 702 awaits assignment in the Senate.


SB 140 (Leno) – SUPPORT
As Amended on June 1, 2015

SB 140 was passed by the Senate with a vote of 25 to 12. SB 140 would: 1) define the term “smoking” for purposes of the STAKE ACT; and 2) expand the STAKE Act’s definition of tobacco products to include electronic devises that deliver nicotine or vaporized liquids, and 3) make it illegal to furnish such products to minors.

CSAC’s Health and Human Services Policy Committee voted to SUPPORT SB 140 should the Senate Appropriations Committee pass the measure. CSAC will weigh in with letters of support as the measure progresses through the Assembly.

SB 151 (Hernandez) – PENDING 
As Introduced on January 29, 2015

SB 151, by Senator Hernandez, attempts to prevent young initiation ages for smoking by raising the age for restricted access to tobacco products from 18 to 21 years of age. The measure was passed by the Senate – with 29 ‘aye’ votes and 9 ‘no’ votes – and is now awaiting assignment in the Assembly.

Supporters of the bill argue that California has a rich history of tobacco control, which has helped to reduce the smoking rates, smoking-related diseases, and the costs of both. Because the negative effects of smoking are a well-known and costly burden to society, supporters claim it is necessary to restrict young adult access to tobacco products.

CSAC’s Health and Human Services Policy Committee is voting on whether to support this measure via email. Voting will close on Monday, June 8. Members of the HHS Policy Committee should have received an email requesting a vote on Wednesday, June 3. Supervisors and affiliates are welcome to vote.


AB 193 (Maienschein) – OPPOSE 
As Amended on May 28, 2015 

AB 193, by Assembly Member Brian Maienschein, would authorize a Probate Court judge to recommend a Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS) conservatorship to the county officer providing conservatorship investigations if the court determines, based on evidence and the opinion of a medical professional, that a person for whom a probate conservatorship has been established may be gravely disabled and is unwilling to accept, or is incapable of accepting, treatment voluntarily and is thus eligible for a LPS conservatorship. 

The bill was amended to remove the requirement that the county officer providing the conservatorship investigation to petition the court and file a copy of their report within 30 days of the court’s recommendation. Despite the amendments, CSAC remains opposed.

The Assembly passed AB 193 with 77 ‘aye’ votes. AB 193 may create serious fiscal implications for counties; therefore we encourage individual counties to send letters of opposition.

Psychotropic Medications

SB 238 (Mitchell) – SUPPORT
As Amended on June 2, 2015

SB 238, sponsored by the County Welfare Directors Association of California and supported by CSAC, seeks to increase communication and training amongst all parties serving foster youth through requiring four key aspects:

  1. The Department of Social Services and the Department of Health Care Services to develop monthly data reports that match prescription and claims data with child welfare services records;
  2. The development of a system that triggers alerts to child welfare social workers and others serving the child such as attorneys and courts, when medications that could have dangerous interactions with psychotropic medications have been prescribed or when foster youth are prescribed unusual dosages;
  3. An update to the JV-220 court form to allow key stakeholders to provide information, feedback and details on the overall mental health and treatment plan for the child; and
  4. Training for child welfare social workers, foster children, caregivers and attorneys and Court-Appointed Special Advocates regarding psychotropic medications.

SB 238 was passed unanimously by the Senate and is now headed to the Assembly.

Continuum of Care Reform

As Amended on June 1, 2015

The Assembly passed AB 403, by Assembly Member Mark Stone with 79 ‘aye’ votes. Sponsored by the Department of Social Services (DSS), AB 403 reflects DSS’ attempt to reform the continuum of care for foster youth. In January, DSS released their Continuum of Care Report, which outlined a comprehensive approach to improving the experience and outcomes of children and youth in foster care. 

AB 403 would provide for the reclassification of treatment facilities and the transition from the use of group homes for children in foster care to the use of short-term residential treatment centers – defined in the amendments. AB 403 revises foster parent training requirements and provides for the development of Child-Family Teams to inform the process of placement and services to children. Additionally, the bill seeks to develop a new payment structure to fund placement options for children in foster care.

CSAC continues to work with county partners, the Department of Social Services, and the Department of Finance on this ambitious proposal.

Other bills moving forward:

Bill Number CSAC Position
SB 33 (Hernandez): Medi-Cal Estate Recovery Support
SB 478 (Huff): Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Pilots Support
SB 614 (Leno): Medi-Cal Mental Health Peer Support Providers Support
SB 804 (Committee on Health) Support
AB 470 (Chu): IHSS Fingerprinting Support
AB 858 (Wood): Medi-Cal FQHC Support


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