BUDGET: Surplus May Fuel Medi-Cal Expansion
The state Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee yesterday "approved its $78.8 billion version of a new state budget amid projections that California may realize a $3 billion revenue windfall over the next year," the Sacramento Bee reports. While the plan approved "Tuesday largely reflects what [Gov. Gray] Davis unveiled in January," state Sen. Jim Brulte (R- Rancho Cucamonga), vice chair of the Senate budget committee, "took issue with increased spending in social programs, like an expansion of Medi-Cal coverage to include uninsured, low-income two-parent families" -- an expansion expected to cost $117 million. He said that he was concerned about what would happen in future year if costs "skyrocket" and the "economy sours." He said the state should consider a tax cut with the budget surplus (Capps, 4/28). The Orange County Register reports that Davis is scheduled to issue a revised budget May 14, at which time he will mostly likely unveil a series of smaller-scale initiatives, including an expansion in "state-paid health care for the working poor" (Weintraub, 4/27).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.