Brown’s FY 2013-2014 Budget Plan Includes Several Wild Cards
Several items included in Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) fiscal year 2013-2014 budget proposal could be disrupted by state operations, lawsuits or actions by the Legislature, U-T San Diego reports (Gardner, U-T San Diego, 1/15).
Details of Brown's Budget Proposal
Upon releasing his budget plan, Brown said that -- if implemented -- it would leave the state with a budget surplus of $851 million. The plan projects $98.5 billion in revenue and transfers. It estimates $97.7 billion in spending.
Brown's plan includes an expansion of Medi-Cal to individuals with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level. Â The expansion -- included in the Affordable Care Act -- is expected to add up to 1.5 million newly eligible adults to the program.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Additional health and human services-related items in the proposal include:
- A 4.9% increase in funding for In-Home Supportive Services -- which provides services for the elderly and people who are blind or have disabilities -- and an assumption that the state will be able to implement a 20% reduction in service hours on Nov. 1 to obtain $113 million in savings;
- Increases in Supplemental Security Income and State Supplemental Payout grants for low-income elderly, blind and disabled beneficiaries of $20 per month for individuals and $30 per month for couples; and
- A $142 million increase in funding for Cal-WORKs, the state's welfare-to-work program.
The budget proposal also allocates $1.6 billion for a court-appointed federal overseer to manage continued improvements in the state's prison health care system (California Healthline, 1/15).
Details of Uncertainties
U-T San Diego reports that one potential threat to Brown's budget plan is continued federal oversight of the state's prison health care system (U-T San Diego, 1/15).
About six years ago, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson appointed federal receiver J. Clark Kelso to oversee the state's prison health care systemÂ after determining that an average of one inmate per week died as a result of malpractice or neglect.
This month, Brown's administration filed a request for a federal court to return oversight of the prisons to the state. However, observers say that California might encounter resistance from federal judges in its bid to regain control of state prison (California Healthline, 1/9).
According to U-T San Diego, continued federal oversight could force the state to spend millions more on prisonsÂ than Brown accounted for in his budget plan.
In addition, Brown's plan assumes millions in savings from IHSS cuts, but patient care advocates are challenging the cuts in a case before the federal appellate court this spring.Brown's budget also seeks to renew several hospital-related fees, whichÂ require approval from the Legislature (U-T San Diego, 1/15). 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.