Brown OKs Health Industry Fees, Vetoes Budget-Related Measure
Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has signed two billsÂ to extend revenue-generating initiatives for the health care industry and vetoed a bill that would have required the state finance director to consult with lawmakers before making emergency budget cuts, the San Jose Mercury News reports (Harmon, San Jose Mercury News, 9/17).
Details of the Approved Bills
Brown approved a bill (SB 335), by Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) and Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), that would extend through 2013 a fee on hospitals to draw down additional federal funds for Medi-Cal services. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
The bill is designed to generate $5.2 billion in higher Medi-Cal payments to hospitals and cut $875 million from general fund spending by the end of 2013.
The measure still requires a federal waiver to become law, according to the Sacramento Business Journal.
Brown also signed a bill (ABX1 21), by Assembly member Bob Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills), to extend a tax on Medi-Cal managed care plans for another year (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 9/16).
The Medi-Cal managed care plan tax extension aims to help finance Healthy Families, California's Children's Health Insurance Program.
Brown said the measure will save the state's general fund $103 million this year (Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 9/18).
Details of the Vetoed Bill
Meanwhile, Brown vetoed a bill (SBX1 6), introduced by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, that would have required the director of the state Department of Finance to consult with legislative leaders on alternatives to automatic cuts outlined in the state budget package (Sacramento Business Journal, 9/16).
Under current law, an additional $2.5 billion in cuts could be made to education, public safety, and health and human services programs if state revenue falls short of expectations (Sacramento Bee, 9/18).
On Friday, KPCC's "KPCC News" reported on the governor's signing of legislation to extend taxes on Medi-Cal managed care plans and hospitals (Small , "KPCC News," KPCC, 9/16).
"KPCC News" also reported on Brown's veto of legislation that would have required the state Department of Finance to consult with lawmakers on alternatives to the triggered cuts under the state budget package (Small , "KPCC News," KPCC, 9/16).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.