CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services update 6/6/2014

Conference Committee

The joint Budget Conference Committee commenced hearing health and human services issues on Monday, June 2. All human services items were held open. The majority of the health items were also held open; however the Conference Committee took the following actions on four items:
Medi-Cal Mandatory Expansion – The Committee adopted the Assembly’s proposal to reduce the Governor proposed estimates of Medi-Cal costs for 2014-15 by $342 million, based on the LAO’s refined estimate. 
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Education (SNAP – Ed) – The Assembly approved trailer bill language to require the Department of Public Health to convene on a quarterly basis to ensure a smooth transition from contracted vendors to civil service staff for the SNAP-Ed program. The Senate opted for trailer bill language to do the same. The Conference Committee adopted the Assembly’s proposal.

Funding for Tuberculosis Control Mandate – The Governor proposed a suspension of the TB Control mandate, which was rejected by the Assembly and Senate. Conference Committee adopted the Senate’s proposal to adopt TBL and allocate funds beginning in 2014-15 to counties for these activities as part of the Department of Public Health’s TB control grant. 

Retention and Recruitment at State Hospitals – The Assembly approved $1.6 million in general fund to the Department of State Hospitals for recruitment and retention of physicians and surgeons. However, the Conference Committee adopted the LAO’s compromise that included reporting language. 

It is unclear when, or if, the Conference Committee will return to the open items, with a full budget proposal due before the Legislature by next week.

The constitutional deadline to pass a budget is June 15. 

Medi-Cal

SB 1089 (Mitchell) – Support 
As Introduced on February 19, 2014

SB 1089, as amended by Senator Holly Mitchell, is sponsored by Los Angeles County and intended as a technical clean-up measure for AB 396 (Chapter 394, Statutes of 2011). AB 396 created a voluntary program that allows counties to draw down federal matching funds for the medical treatment of minors who are held in a juvenile justice facility and require hospitalization. SB 1089 seeks to clarify the county’s share of the costs and encourage the development of a claiming process.

CSAC supports SB 1089, which will be heard by the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday, June 10.

Human Services

AB 264 (Maienschein) – Support 
As Amended on May 29, 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. 
CSAC supports AB 264, which will be heard by the Senate Human Services Committee on Tuesday, June 10.

AB 2379 (Weber) – Support
As Amended on April 22, 2014

AB 2379, by Assembly Member Shirley Weber, would increase information sharing among county Child Welfare Services (CWS) and Adult Protective Services (APS) systems. 

AB 2379 is a simple, common-sense bill to increase communication among the CWS and APS systems that will help prevent abuse at any age. It is not a mandate and has no fiscal impacts other than to save the pain, suffering, and costs associated with ongoing dependent adult abuse. It is for these reasons CSAC supports AB 2379, which will be heard by the Senate Human Services Committee on Tuesday, June 10.

Social Services

AB 1623 (Atkins) – Support
As Amended April 21, 2014

AB 1623, by Assembly Speaker Atkins, would authorize any city, county, or community-based nonprofit organization to establish a multiagency, multidisciplinary family justice center to assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, and human trafficking, as specified beginning January 1st of 2015. The bill would also specify additional confidentiality provisions relating to information disclosed by a victim in a family justice center and would require each family justice center to provide mandatory training for all staff members, volunteers, and agency professionals.

CSAC is supportive of efforts that assist victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking. The Assembly passed the bill on April 28, and it will be heard by the Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, June 10. 

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