CDCAN: GOVERNOR’S PROPOSED 2015-2016 STATE BUDGET INCLUDES RESTORATION OF 7% CUT TO IHSS RECIPIENT SERVICE HOURS EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2015

SACRAMENTO, CA [CDCAN LAST UPDATED 01/09/2015 – 10:12 AM] –  Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown, Jr.’s proposed 2015-2016 State Budget released this morning includes a major proposal to restore the existing 7% across the board cut in service hours to all In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) recipients, effective July 1, 2015, impacting over 450,000 children and adults with disabilities, including developmental, mental health needs, the blind and low income seniors. 
    The restoration would, under the Governor’s plan, be tied to additional new federal Medicaid funds that would come to California through a revised provider tax on Medi-Cal managed care organizations
    That 7% reduction was part of a larger 2013 federal court settlement between the State and IHSS recipients and advocacy organizations that resulted in rescinding three major cuts to IHSS that were enacted but never implemented in 2009 and 2011.  As part of the settlement, a temporary 8% across the board cut in service hours for all IHSS recipients was put in place from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014, and then reduced to 7% from July 1, 2014 through at least June 30, 2015. That 7% across the board reduction could be restored, under the 2013 court settlement, if sufficient new federal funding was obtained by the State to cover the costs of that restoration. 
    The Governor’s proposal to revamp the Medi-Cal Managed Care Organization provider tax and to use some of that additional funding to cover the costs of the restoration of the 7% cut in IHSS hours, according to State officials, is meant to accomplish the requirements of the settlement. 
    . 
 IHSS OVERTIME STILL IN BUDGET BUT IMPLEMENTATION DEPENDS ON UPCOMING COURT RULINGS
    The Governor’s budget plan also includes still funding for IHSS overtime, though whether that is implemented in California depends on the outcome of a pending lawsuit in federal district court in Washington DC – and how the Brown Administration interprets any rulings from the court. 
    A hearing before the federal district court in Washington, DC is scheduled today (Friday) at 11:30 AM Pacific Time (2:30 PM East Coast Time) to consider a request by the Home Care Association of America and other provider associations to issue a preliminary injunction or longer delay of implementation of the remaining federal regulations that were scheduled to go into effect January 1st, that impacted home care workers including removing previous exemptions to overtime pay. 
    A temporary “stay” or delay of those remaining regulations was ordered by the court on December 31st that effectively delayed implementation of the regulations at least through January 15th.  The same judge on December 22nd struck down a key part of those regulations dealing with third party employers who employ home care workers for recipients. Third party employers include state agencies, community organizations and businesses that employ home care workers. 
    CDCAN will issue a full report later today on the outcome of that hearing and any subsequent action by the State, and the impact to people who are IHSS recipients and workers and their families. 

DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES: NO NEW MAJOR FUNDING RESTORATIONS BUT GOVERNOR’S BUDGET CALLS FOR FUNDING SHORTFALL IN REGIONAL CENTER BUDGET THIS YEAR DUE TO INCREASED CASELOAD AND UTILIZATION – MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE FOR JANUARY 2016 WILL BE COVERED AS IT COVERED INCREASE LAST JULY
    The Governor’s proposed 2015-2016 State Budget, as expected, included no major restorations in funding for previous reductions to the developmental services budget, but does include funding in the current budget year of an additional $452 million in total funds ($333 million of that in State General Funds) to cover a shortfall in the regional center budget due to increased caseload costs and costs related to increased utilization (use of services). 
    The Governor’s proposed budget also includes funding to cover the increase in the State minimum wage scheduled for January 1, 2016 covering the same programs and services that it did for the increase that occurred last July.  No funding was included to cover the impact of minimum wage increases for exempt staff. 
    The Governor’s budget, as expected, does not include any additional closure of the remaining developmental centers and any across the board rate increases for community-based providers. 
 
NO RESTORATION OF COST OF LIVING FOR STATE FUNDED PART OF SSI/SSP
    As expected, the Governor’s proposed spending plan for 2015-2016 does not include any cost of living adjustment or restoration of the automatic cost of living adjustments for the State funded portion of the Supplemental Security Income/State Supplemental Payment (SSI/SSP) grants for the lowest income persons with disabilities, mental health needs, the blind and seniors.  Advocates have been pushing for restoration of cost of living for the SSP portion of the grants and intend to continue that effort in the coming months of legislative budget subcommittee hearings. 
    The Governor’s plan does include, as it did last year, passing through to SSI/SSP recipients the increase for the federal part (SSI) of the grants.
 
HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES AGENCY PUBLIC STAKEHOLDER CONFERENCE CALL ON BUDGET AT 2 PM FRIDAY
    As previously reported yesterday, California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Diana Dooley with directors of the departments under her agency including Departments of Health Care Services, Social Services, Developmental Services, Rehabilitation and Aging will hold a public stakeholder conference call on Friday afternoon at 2:00 PM to discuss and answer questions regarding the Governor’s proposed budget impact on health and human services.
 
WHEN:  January 9, 2015 – Friday
TIME:  2:00 PM Pacific Time (persons are advised to dial in at least 10 minutes prior to start of the call to register with operator)
CALL-IN NUMBER:  (888) 658-8648
PASSCODE PHRASE:  CHHS Budget
Sign up for alerts like these at www.CDCAN.us

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