California Legislature Sends Budget Bill to Governor

The Legislature has sent their Budget bill to the Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. The bill includes key provisions for young children, in the areas of child care and health.

Here’s the summary from the First 5 Association:

Fulfilled Promises of the 2016 child care promises: 

  • $7.9 million for the addition of nearly 3,000 full day state preschool slots administered by local education agencies (LEAs). If LEAs cannot spend the allotted money, non-LEAs can apply for the funding.

Reimbursement Rate Increases:

  • $42.2 million increase to Regional Market Rate for voucher-based child care providers by using the 75th percentile of 2016 SMI, beginning 2018
  • $67.6 million increase to the Standard Reimbursement Rate and an additional 6% increase ($92.7 million) above what was promised in the 2016 budget deal for CSPP and other direct-contracted providers

Additional Child Care Investments & Activity: 

  • $25 million for updated family eligibility 12 month continuous child care, and graduated exit eligibility (to essentially implement AB 60)  — Note, this increased from $20late last week 
  • $15 million to fund emergency child care for foster children beginning January 1, 2018. An additional $31 million in ongoing funding to establish a voluntary county program to provide emergency child care vouchers.
  • Title 22 and ratios for school-run preschool programs remain in tact, and LAO will convene a stakeholder group to examine health and safety requirements under Title 22 and issue a report with recommendations by March 15, 2018.

Proposition 56 ($2 tobacco tax) Funds: 

In January, the Governor proposed that the estimated $1.3 billion from new tobacco tax revenues, passed under Prop 56 in Nov 2016, be dedicated to existing Medi-Cal services. The health care field and the legislature pushed back, citing the intent of the proposition was to in part increase provider payments for medical professionals serving Medi-Cal patients. The following compromise was struck:

  • Increased payments for medical professionals in 2017-18: $546 million (of the projected $1.3 billion in Prop 56 revenues) would go to Medi-Cal providers as “supplemental payments” to five provider groups: up to $325 million for physicians; up to $140 million for dentists; up to $50 million for women’s health providers; up to $27 million for providers serving people with developmental disabilities; and up to $4 million for providers caring for people with HIV/AIDS. The rules for allocating “supplemental payments” will be determined by the Department of Health Care Services by July 31, 2017.
  • Additional Funding for Medi-Cal: The remaining Prop 56 funds will pay for ordinary spending growth with the Medi-Cal program, which could total up to $711 million in 2017-18.
  • Contingency Plan: Supplemental payments will be disbursed only if: 1) California receives “all necessary federal approvals” to receive Medicaid matching funds (the proposed $546 million supplemental payment would receive a $613 million federal Medicaid match); and 2) The federal government does not cut funding for Medi-Cal from current projected levels.This will be monitored by the Department of Finance.
  • Beyond 2017-18: The compromise sets an expectation that supplemental payments could receive up to $800 million in 2018-19. However, these funding levels will be subject to next year’s budget negotiations.

What was NOT funded: 

  • The CalWORKs Baby Wellness and Family Support Home Visiting program was not funded. Thank you to all the commissions who worked tirelessly on this proposal. Legislators and advocates alike were very appreciative of First 5’s engagement around this effort.
  • CalWORKs ancillary diaper services for CalWORKs families also did not receive funding.
  • The Legislative Women’s Caucus requested additional funding for most child care slots. No slots were added above the 2016 child care promised.

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