California Senate Republicans Propose Health Cuts in Budget
On Wednesday Senate Republicans offered $842 million in budget cuts from welfare, transportation, Medi-Cal and other programs, but Senate Democrats are widely expected to reject the proposals when the Senate meets to consider them on Thursday, the Sacramento Bee reports (Lin, Sacramento Bee, 7/26).
Senate Republicans' proposed budget cuts exceed the $722 million operating deficit projected in the spending plan that the Assembly approved last week.
Among the proposed cuts, Senate Republicans suggest reducing funding for Medi-Cal managed care programs and curbing salary increases for county Medi-Cal administrators. Those reductions are projected to save the state $71.5 million in fiscal year 2007-2008 (Myers, "Capitol Notes," KQED, 7/25).
Jean Ross, executive director of the California Budget Project, said most of the Republicans' spending proposals have been considered previously, noting that providing additional staff for counties to administer Medi-Cal helped reduce the number of Medi-Cal cases (Sacramento Bee, 7/26).
Overall, Senate Republicans' budget proposal would provide about $29.8 billion for health and welfare programs, compared with $30.3 billion included in the Democratic budget proposal. The FY 2006-2007 budget provided about $29.7 billion for health and welfare programs (Senate Republican Caucus Budget Comparison: Spending by Agency, 7/25).
A complete list of Senate Republicans' proposed spending reductions, as well as other budget comparisons, is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to access the documents.