Assembly Democrats Formally Back Measures on Proposition 63, First 5
On Tuesday, the Assembly Democratic Caucus voted to formally support five of the six measures on the ballot for the May 19 special election, including measures to shift money from special funds for mental health services and early childhood health care and education, Capitol Weekly reports (Howard, Capitol Weekly, 3/10).
Proposition 1E would shift $226.7 million from mental health care programs that Proposition 63 funds to the existing Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Program for low-income children for two years (California Healthline, 3/3). In 2004, voters approved Proposition 63, which increased the state income tax on high-income Californians to fund mental health services (California Healthline, 3/2).
Proposition 1D would temporarily shift $608 million from First 5 programs to fund services for children, including programs for foster children and kids with developmental disabilities. First 5 was created in 1998 when voters approved Proposition 10 to increase the state tobacco tax to fund early childhood health care and education programs.
The measures would complete the budget Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed last month that uses tax increases, spending cuts and borrowing to cover California's projected budget deficit through fiscal year 2009-2010.
Rejection of any of the ballot proposals will force the governor and state lawmakers to restart budget negotiations (California Healthline, 3/3).
The caucus remains divided over Proposition 1A, which would cap state spending and raise some taxes.Â Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) said the caucus would meet again next week to discuss the initiative (Capitol Weekly, 3/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.