Proposed Bill Targets Early Childhood Health, Education Program
On Wednesday, Sen. Dave Cox (R-Fair Oaks) announced legislation to eliminate the First 5 California program and to use the funds to shore up children's health insurance efforts and local schools and government, Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports.
The First 5 program distributes proceeds of a 50-cent state tobacco tax increase to help fund early childhood health and education services.
Cox has raised questions about the First 5 program's spending and argues that the $2.4 billion held in accounts for the program could be divided among cities, counties, school districts and the state.
In addition, future funds from the tobacco tax increase could help fund Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, according to "Capitol Alert". Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program, and Healthy Families is its version of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (Lin, Sacramento Bee, "Capitol Alert," 5/21).