Legislators, Advocates Seek Restoration of State Funds for Health-Related Programs
Some Democratic legislators and advocates are lobbying Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) to work with legislators to restore about $8 million in state funds for health and social services programs he eliminated from the fiscal year 2005-2006 state budget using the line-item veto, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) said Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Kim Belshe is considering whether to restore funding to the Improving Access, Counseling and Treatment for Californians with Prostate Cancer program (Benson, Sacramento Bee, 7/22). In a line-item veto, Schwarzenegger eliminated $3 million that would have expanded the program.
In his veto message, Schwarzenegger said that 45% of the program's budget goes toward administration expenses and more money should be dedicated to patient care. Administration officials said that the 341 patients enrolled in the program will be able to continue receiving care but that 104 patients currently on the waiting list will not be enrolled in the program (California Healthline, 7/12).
Nicole Kasabian Evans, a spokesperson for Belshe, said HHSA officials are evaluating the program.
Consumer advocates also are contesting a $1.4 million funding reduction to the Community Care Licensing Division, saying the move will complicate inspection efforts. CCLD inspects care facilities, including assisted-living facilities.
Kasabian Evans said that the governor's line-item veto will not affect CCLD's ability to hire additional personnel, noting that CCLD has hired 85 staff members to date this year and has 70 other positions to fill (Sacramento Bee, 7/22).
KPCC's "KPCC News" on Wednesday reported on Ortiz's efforts to secure funding for IMPACT. The segment includes comments from Ortiz; Margita Thompson, a spokesperson for Schwarzenegger; and a state resident who wrote Ortiz about the program (Keith, "KPCC News," KPCC, 7/20). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.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.