Brown, Legislative Democrats Reach Agreement on Budget
On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and legislative Democrats reached a budget agreement for fiscal year 2013-2014, which includes increased spending on health and human services, the Sacramento Bee reports (Siders, Sacramento Bee, 6/11).
Reuters reports that the Assembly and Senate likely will approve the budget plan by the state's June 15 deadline (Christie, Reuters, 6/10).
A Legislative Analyst's Office report found that the state will collect $3.2 billion more in extra revenue than Brown estimated in the revised plan.
Meanwhile, separate budget plans released last month by Assembly Democrats and Senate Democrats seek more funding for safety-net programs than Brownâs revised proposal (California Healthline, 5/29).
Details of New Budget Agreement
The new budget agreement would use Brown's more conservative economic forecast, despite that Democrats had sought about $2 billion more in spending on state services and programs.
The agreement calls for:
- $206 million to improve mental health care services, including $142 million in one-time general fund money in the coming fiscal year;
- $51 million in non-general fund money in the coming fiscal year and about $150 million the following fiscal year to boost grants for CalWORKS, California's welfare-to-work program; and
- $16.9 million in general fund money in the coming fiscal year and $77 million the following fiscal year to help partially restore Denti-Cal benefits for adults.
Denti-Cal is the Medi-Cal dental program.
Comments on Agreement
In a statement, Brown said, "The Legislature is doing their job and doing it well," adding, "It looks like California will get another balanced budget."
Assembly member Bob Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills) said that funding for Medi-Cal and other health and human services "may not be as much as we wanted â¦ but it is in the right direction."
Anthony Wright -- director of Health Access California -- said, "We're pleased about the dental restoration, however partial and delayed." However, he said that the budget agreement provides too little funding for safety-net services (Sacramento Bee, 6/11).
Broadcast CoverageOn Monday, Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" reported on the budget agreement (Adler/Orr, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 6/10). 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.