CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services update 6/27/2014

General Assistance 

AB 2311 (Bradford) – Oppose 
As Amended on May 23, 2014 

AB 2311, by Assembly Member Steven Bradford, would alter locally-established General Assistance (GA) eligibility to allow honorably discharged veterans to receive GA benefits for a longer period of time. 
Each county establishes GA benefit eligibility and award levels to best serve the needs of their communities. While counties strive to serve veteran populations, AB 2311 would increase county-funded benefits for a specific population and remove local authority to set GA levels that meets the needs of each community.

CSAC is working with the author’s office to focus on policy to assist veterans in our communities, but remains opposed to the bill at this time. AB 2311 was passed by the Senate Human Services Committee and referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

Medi-Cal 

SB 1341 (Mitchell) – Support 
As Amended on May 6, 2014 

SB 1341, by Senator Holly Mitchell, would codify the existing agreement between the Administration, Covered California, and the counties regarding the respective roles of the State Automated Welfare System (SAWS) and the California Health Eligibility Enrollment and Retention System (CalHEERS). 
Specifically, SB 1341:

  • Specifies SAWS as the system of record for Medi-Cal and that SAWS shall contain all Medi-Cal eligibility rules and case management functionality. The bill permits the MAGI rules for Medi-Cal to continue to be housed in CalHEERS as they currently are; and,
  • Requires that Notices of Action (NOAs) for Medi-Cal be programmed into the Medi-Cal system of record: the SAWS systems.

SB 1341 was passed by the Senate Health Committee on June 25 and referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

Homeless Assistance

AB 1733 (Quirk-Silva, Maienschein, Atkins) – Support 
As Amended on May 23, 2014 

AB 1733, by Assembly Members Sharon Quirk-Silva, Brian Maienschein and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, allows a fee waiver for a homeless person to obtain a certified certificate of live birth from the county registrar or recorder or an identification card from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). 
CSAC supports AB 1733. As the service provider of last resort for indigent Californians, counties deal with the effects of homelessness across our systems, including health, human services and public safety. AB 1733 will facilitate access for homeless people to services that are critical to helping them move towards self-sufficiency. Government and non-governmental entities fund a variety of services that help ensure the health and safety of homeless and low-income people. However, eligibility must be established in order to access these services, which often requires proof of identity with a birth record or valid identification card. Providing these services to homeless persons reduce costs to government and society overall, but particularly counties.

AB 1733 was passed by the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on June 25 and referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

Mental Health 

SB 1054 (Steinberg) – Support 
As Amended on June 23, 2014 

SB 1054, by Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, would resurrect the Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction (MIOCR) grant program by providing $25 million for juvenile offenders and $25 million for adult offenders in 2014-15. 

The competitive grant program would be administered by the Board of State and Community Corrections and disbursements would be made from the Recidivism Reduction Fund to counties that expand or establish a continuum of swift, certain, and graduated responses to reduce crime and criminal justice costs related to mentally ill offenders over four years.

CSAC strongly supports Senator Steinberg’s efforts to target funding for intensive services to those who suffer from mental illness in the criminal justice system. SB 1054 was passed by the Senate Public Safety Committee and referred to the Committee on Appropriations. 

CalWORKs

AB 264 (Maienschein) – Support 
As Amended on June 12, 2014 

AB 264, as amended, by Assembly Member Brian Maienschein, eliminates the current requirement that the 16 days of housing assistance provided to homeless families through the CalWORKs program be used consecutively. AB 264 will allow counties to target the intermittent cycle of homelessness by increasing flexibility for the receipt of temporary housing assistance.

AB 264 was heard by the Committee on Appropriations on June 23 and placed on the suspense file.

Human Services

AB 2547 (Gaines) – Support 
As Amended on May 15, 2014 

AB 2547, by Assembly Member Beth Gaines, would allow Placer County to continue to operate their successful integrated, coordinated, and seamless approach to health and human services delivery in the County for another five years.

Sponsored by the Placer County Board of Supervisors, AB 2547 makes the County’s Integrated Health and Human Services Pilot Program permanent. Operated in conjunction with the State, Placer County’s Integrated Health and Human Services Pilot Program serves as a model of family centered and needs-based delivery of services to children and families by providing blended education, mental health, probation, and child welfare services in a seamless team approach. In making this program permanent, the bill has been amended to remove obsolete evaluation and reporting requirements used in the prior pilot.

AB 2547 was passed by the Senate Human Services Committee on June 25 and referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

County Public Hospitals

AB 2546 (Salas) – Support 
As Amended on June 10, 2014 

AB 2546, by Assembly Member Rudy Salas, authorizes and provides a statutory framework for Kern County to form the Kern County Health System Authority. The Health Authority positions Kern to evolve with the changing health care landscape and innovate to better serve its low-income residents. CSAC supports AB 2546, which was passed by the Committee on Governance and Finance on June 25.

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