CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services update 2/28/2014

Legislature Begins Work on Health and Human Services Budget Issues

Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 held its first hearings of the year on the 2014-15 state budget issues related to health and human services. The Subcommittee is now chaired by Assembly Member Shirley Weber. The rest of the subcommittee membership remains unchanged, including Assembly Members Wes Cesbro, Roger Dickinson, Shannon Grove, and Alan Mansoor.
On Monday, the Subcommittee heard a number of Medi-Cal budget issues, including substance use disorder treatment and Drug Medi-Cal issues. The members present at the hearing expressed concern about the Department of Health Care Services’ pursuit of a Section 1115 Medicaid Waiver for Drug Medi-Cal. California Opioid Maintenance Providers (COMP) were present and raised significant concern with a federal waiver for Drug Medi-Cal. They are primarily concerned that the waiver would remove the entitlement protections for treatment and undermine Sobky v. Smoley. COMP members are methadone providers. CSAC, the County Alcohol and Drug Program Administrators Association of California (CADPAAC), and the California Mental Health Directors Association (CMHDA) testified in the support of the waiver. All items were held open.
On Wednesday, the Subcommittee focused its discussion on issues related to poverty in California. They also discussed the CalWORKs budget proposals. All items were held open.
On the Senate side, Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 3 also had some changes to its membership, including two new members. Senator Ellen Corbett is the new chair, and Senator Mimi Walters also newly joins the subcommittee. Senator Bill Monning remains on the subcommittee. The subcommittee will start its hearings on March 6, focusing on information systems, emergency medical services and public health.

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