Calif. Assembly, Senate Budget Plans Outline Different Priorities
Democrats in the Assembly and Senate have outlined separate budget plans, which both seek more funding for safety-net programs than Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) revised fiscal year 2013-2014 budget proposal, the Los Angeles Times reports (Megerian, Los Angeles Times, 5/28).
Details of Brown's Revised Budget
Earlier this month, Brown released his revised $96.4 billion spending plan for FY 2013-2014. TheÂ proposal is a $1.3 billion reduction from the initial spending plan that he announced in January.
Compared with last fiscal year, Brown's budget plan anticipates $1.2 billion more in Medi-Cal spending to implement Affordable Care Act provisions. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Brown's budget also would:
- Immediately cut $300 million from county indigent care funding; and
- Implement a 10% Medi-Cal provider reimbursement cut that currently is stalled in litigation.
Meanwhile, the budget would not restore Denti-Cal benefits for adults. Denti-Cal is the Medi-Cal dental program.
Details of Lawmakers' Budget Plans
Both budget plans by lawmakers rely on LAO's larger revenue estimate.
The proposed Assembly budget plan would:
- Expand child care programs; and
- Increase welfare grants (Los Angeles Times, 5/28).
Meanwhile, the $98 billion Senate budget plan -- passed by the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee last week -- creates a $1.5 billion reserve fund, which is $400 million more than the reserve fund in Brown's revised budget proposal (Arns, Sacramento Business Journal, 5/28).
The Senate budget plan also would:
- Allocate $113 million to restore Denti-Cal benefits for adults; and
- Increase funding for mental health services.
This week, lawmakers plan to begin holding joint hearings to finalize a budget proposal. State law requires legislators to pass a spending plan by June 15.
Comments on Proposals
Assembly Budget Committee Chair Bob Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills) said, "The differences will be ironed out." He said, "We will adopt another on-time, balanced budget."
Meanwhile, H.D. Palmer -- a spokesperson for the Department of Finance -- said, "We can't commit to higher spending than the budget can sustain" (Los Angeles Times, 5/28).
Broadcast CoverageOn Tuesday, Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" reported on the separate budget proposals (Adler, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 5/28). 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.