Schwarzenegger Signs California Budget Deal; Eyes Turn to Election
On Friday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed a budget deal that uses tax increases, spending cuts and borrowing to cover California's projected budget deficit through fiscal year 2009-2010, the Los Angeles Times reports (Rau, Los Angeles Times, 2/21).
Overall, health and human services programs will see state funding drop by about $1.6 billion, but federal funds included in the economic stimulus package could restore $676 million in cuts (California Healthline, 2/20).
Some conservatives maintain that the tax increases will weaken the economy and prompt more job losses, and some liberals argue that the budget cuts hit health care, education and other programs too deeply.
The budget package also calls a May 19 special election featuring six financial proposals.Â Rejection of any of the proposals will force the governor and state lawmakers to restart budget negotiations (Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/21).
Two of the six initiatives deal with health care.
Proposition 1D would temporarily shift $608 million from First 5 programs to fund services for children, including programs for foster children and kids with developmental disabilities (Finnegan, Los Angeles Times graphic, 2/21).Â First 5 was created in 1998 when voters approved Proposition 10, to increase the state tobacco tax to fund early childhood health care and education programs.
The funds would be redirected from First 5 for five years (California Healthline, 2/20).
Proposition 1E would shift $226.7 million from mental health care programs that Proposition 63 funds (Los Angeles Times graphic, 2/21).Â The money would be channeled to the existing Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Program for low-income children for two years.
Californians approved Proposition 63 in 2004 to increase the state income tax on high-income state residents to fund mental health services (California Healthline, 2/20).Mental health advocates plan to oppose Proposition 1E (Goldberg, "KPBS News," KPBS, 2/23). 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.