CDCAN: BUDGET CONFERENCE COMMITTEE FINISHES WORK – PULLS BACK ON MANY FUNDING RESTORATION PROPOSALS

BUDGET CONFERENCE COMMITTEE FINISHES WORK – PULLS BACK ON MANY FUNDING RESTORATION PROPOSALS AS PART OF BUDGET DEAL REACHED WITH GOVERNOR & LEGISLATIVE DEMOCRATIC LEADERS

BUDGET CONFERENCE COMMITTEE FINISHES WORK AFTER GOVERNOR & LEGISLATIVE DEMOCRATS REACH BUDGET DEAL

  • ·      Governor Wins On Lower Revenue Projection for Budget Forcing Legislative Democrats To Pull Back On Many Funding Restoration Proposals
  • ·      Agreement on Partial Restoration of Medi-Cal Adult Dental Covering Preventive Services & Dentures Only With Delayed Effective Date of May 1, 2014 – Restoration of Medi-Cal Enteral Nutrition Benefit Delayed to May 2014
  • ·      Budget Deal Includes Partial and Gradual Restoration of CalWORKs Grants
  • ·      As Part of the Budget Deal with Governor, Committee Rejects Proposals to Restore Early Start Eligibility to Pre-2009 Level, Adding Applied Behavioral Analysis Services As Medi-Cal Managed Care Benefit, Unfreezing Distinct Part Nursing Facility Rates, & Cost of Living for State Portion of SSI/SSP Grant Levels

 

SACRAMENTO, CA (CDCAN)  [Last updated – 06/10/2013 – 09:13  PM] – Governor Brown and Democratic legislative leaders reached a budget deal late Monday afternoon that resulted in both sides agreeing to the Governor’s significantly lower revenue projections that forced Legislative Democrats to pull back or withdraw nearly all of their proposals to restore funding to previously cut services and programs.

 

The budget plan will be taken up for a final vote on both the Assembly and Senate floors later this week, likely on either Thursday or Friday – but before the June 15th State Constitutional deadline for the Legislature to pass a budget.

 

With the budget deal agreement reached today, it also appears that other efforts to restore funding to various services and program outside the budget process, including rescinding previous Medi-Cal provider rate cuts, and efforts by advocates to push the Legislature to reconsider the actions rejecting various proposals to restore funding cuts taken by the Budget Conference Committee today, are nearly certain now to be unsuccessful.

 

BUDGET CONFERENCE COMMITTEE ADJOURNED AT 9:13 PM

  • ·      The Budget Conference Committee met just before 5:30 PM to take actions on “open” issues that it previously heard last week, including nearly all of the major proposals to restore funding to programs and services that suffered reductions in previous budget years.
  • ·      The Budget Conference Committee adjourned at 9:13 PM completing its work and sending the 2013-2014 State Budget plan to the Assembly and Senate floors for final votes later this week.

 

Among the actions taken by the Budget Conference Committee this evening (CDCAN will issue a complete report later this evening):

  • ·      Medi-Cal Adult Dental Benefit – approved a partial restoration of the benefit that was eliminated in 2009, limiting it to preventative care and denture services and with a start date of May 1, 2014.   Brown Administration estimated the partial restoration would mean a cost to the State general fund of $16.9 million during the 2013-2014 State Budget year compared to $131 million in State general funds for full restoration covering an entire budget year  Administration officials estimate a full year of the partial restoration, in the 2014-2015 State Budget year would be about $77 million in State general funds.
  • ·      Medi-Cal Enteral Nutrition Benefit – approved restoration of this benefit, but with a delayed implementation of May 1, 2014.
  • ·      CalWORKS Grants – partial and gradual restoration of the CalWORKS grants using freed up money for growth from the 1991 realignment (that shifted certain State services to the counties) to fund a 5% increase to CalWORKs grants effective March 2014, and subsequent increases depending on availability of those realignment funds.  This restoration is far less than what the Assembly proposed and Democrats from both houses on the committee expressed extreme disappointment at the compromise, though Assemblymember Blumenfield said at least the action, was a “…meaningful first step”
  • ·      Former Foster Youth Medi-Cal Coverage – approved a compromise plan that would provide Medi-Cal coverage from July 1, 2013 to January 1, 2014 to current foster youth who age out of the system.  The federal health care reform act will require the states to provide this level of coverage to former foster youth afterJanuary 1, 2014.
  • ·      Early Start Eligibility – Budget Conference Committee, as part of the budget deal with the Governor, rejected the Assembly proposal to restore eligibility (and funding) to what it was before the 2009 cuts.
  • ·      Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Services – Budget Conference Committee, as part of the budget deal with the Governor, rejected the Senate proposal to add this service to Medi-Cal managed care plans for children who are not eligible for regional center services.
  • ·      Distinct Part Nursing Facilities Rates – Budget Conference Committee, as part of the budget deal with the Governor, rejected the Assembly proposal to unfreeze the Medi-Cal rates for these facilities.
    • SSI/SSP (Supplemental Security Income/State Supplemental Payment) Grants – Budget Conference Committee, as part of the budget deal reached with the Governor, rejected the Assembly proposal to restore in the next budget year (2014-2015) the annual cost of living adjustments for the state portion (SSP) of the SSI/SSP grants that were eliminated in 2009.
    • ·      Disabled Student Services (Community Colleges) – an increase of $15 million for this program – previously hard hit by several years of major budget reductions – survived as part of a larger package of various education budget issues.
    • ·      Judicial – Budget Conference Committee, as part of the budget reached with the Governor, ended up rejecting proposals by both the Senate and Assembly that originally called for increasing funding to the courts by $100 million in State general funding – and instead agreed to compromise by Brown Administration for an increase to the courts of $63 million.

    Sen. Mark Leno (Democrat – San Francisco), the Budget Conference Committee chair, while expressing deep disappointment that most of the funding restorations would not be possible now with the budget deal reached – a viewpoint shared by all of the committee members.  Leno, along with Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (Democrat – Van Nuys) said he was hopeful and committed that California would be in a position next January to revisit the issues of restoring the State’s safety net that he said was “shredded” during the past decade of budget deficits.

    The actions taken this evening by the Budget Conference Committee doesn’t reflect other major actions in budget plan where both houses took identical actions, such as the temporary across-the-board reductions in service hours to all In-Home Supportive Services recipients; imposing prohibition for regional centers to pay health insurance deductibles for families with children with autism spectrum and related disorders and a stricter policy on payment of insurance co-pays for certain critical services including Applied Behavioral Analysis services.

    Other budget items under the Department of Developmental Services, other than Early Start eligibility, were not issues before the Budget Conference Committee because both houses took identical actions, including the sunset (ending) of the 1.25% payment reduction for most regional center providers and regional center operations remains in the budget plan.

    CDCAN will issue a complete report covering the actions taken by the Legislature and Budget Conference Committee to date.

     

    BUDGET CONFERENCE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

    The 2013 Budget Conference Committee members are:

    • ·      Total members: 8 (3 Senate Democrats, 3 Assembly Democrats and 1 Senate Republican and 1 Assembly Republican)
    • ·      2013 Budget Conference Committee Chair: Sen. Mark Leno (Democrat – San Francisco)
    • ·      2013 Budget Conference Committee Vice Chair: Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (Democrat – Van Nuys)
    • ·      Senate Democrats (3):  Sen. Mark Leno (chair, Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee); Sen. Kevin De Leon (chair, Senate Appropriations Committee); and Sen. Loni Hancock (chair, of the Senate Budget Subcommittee #5 on Corrections, Public Safety and the Judiciary.
    • ·      Senate Republican (1): Sen. Bill Emmerson (vice chair, Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee)
    • ·      Assembly Democrats (3): Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (chair, Assembly Budget Committee); Assemblymember Holly Mitchell (chair, Assembly Budget Subcommittee #1 on Health and Human Services); and Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (chair, Assembly Rules Committee)
    • ·      Assembly Republican (1): Assemblymember Jeff Gorell (vice chair, Assembly Budget Committee)

Read more articles like this here: www.cdcan.us

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