Senate Defeats Budget Plan to Restore Health Care Reductions Proposed by Davis
The Senate yesterday failed to pass its version of the state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, the Los Angeles Times reports. The bill failed to receive any Republican support and was defeated 25-14, two votes shy of the two-thirds majority required for passage. The Senate could take up the spending plan again, possibly as early as Thursday. The plan, which the Senate Budget Committee passed yesterday on a party-line vote, differs significantly from Gov. Gray Davis' (D) spending plan, which would cover an expected $23.6 billion state budget shortfall in part by cutting about $700 million in health and social service spending (Tamaki, Los Angeles Times, 5/29). The Senate bill had included $689 million more than Davis has proposed for health programs, including $263 million to avoid eliminating some optional Medi-Cal benefits that would be cut under the Davis plan. In addition, the Senate plan would have appropriated $155 million to prevent Medi-Cal beneficiaries from re-applying for coverage on a quarterly basis, as would be required by Davis' budget proposal (Hill, Sacramento Bee, 5/29). However, the spending plan did not include funds to expand Healthy Families coverage to parents of eligible children (Los Angeles Times, 5/29). By restoring funding for health programs that would be cut under Davis' budget proposal, lawmakers now must cut other parts of the budget, the Contra Costa Times reports (LaMar, Contra Costa Times, 5/28). The rejected bill had included a provision calling for $1 billion in spending cuts and tax increases, the Bee reports (Sacramento Bee, 5/29). The Assembly Budget Committee yesterday passed its chamber's version of the budget, and the full Assembly will vote on it tomorrow (Haussler, AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/29).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.