New! Check out CPEHN’s 2017-18 Budget Scorecard for the current status of state budget negotiations on health and other issues impacting our communities (updated 6/15/17)
CA Passes State Budget, Delivers Critical Investments in Health
Yesterday, on June 15th, California lawmakers passed the 2017-18 State Budget. CPEHN applauds the state’s spending plan, which delivers critical investments in the long-term health and well-being of all residents, despite ongoing federal uncertainty. The budget deal includes a full restoration of adult dental benefits in the Medi-Cal program that were rolled back in 2009. In addition, the spending plan also scraps a problematic proposal to transfer recent legal immigrants, also referred to as “Newly Qualified Immigrants (NQI),” from Medi-Cal into Covered California. These, and other investments, place the state on track to a healthier California. This budget also includes:
- Restoration of optical benefits in the Medi-Cal program, beginning in 2020;
- Expansion of the California Earned Income Tax Credit to raise the income threshold and include the self-employed;
- Restoration of funds for children’s mental health crisis services, which were proposed for elimination in the January Budget.
Finally, the budget today reaches agreement on a spending plan for the Proposition 56 Tobacco Tax dollars in Medi-Cal. The Governor’s January budget initially proposed to dedicate all revenue toward costs anticipated from an increased number of Medi-Cal enrollees. Advocates and legislative leaders offered counter proposals for how the money should be spent. The final deal commits to spending up to $800 million with at least:
- $325 million for physician provider payments
- $140 million for dental providers payments
- $50 million for family planning
- $27 million for care for the developmentally disabled
- $4 million for HIV/AIDS care
Unfortunately, the Proposition 56 spending plan did not include advocate's proposal for expanding Medi-Cal eligibility to all young adults up to age 26, regardless of immigration status.
The 2017-18 State Budget now goes to the Governor for a signature. Additional bills implementing key budget policies will follow today and the upcoming weeks.
Check out CPEHN’s 2017-2018 Budget Scorecard for a full analysis of priorities in health and other issues impacting our communities.