Senate GOP Leader Says Health Care-Related Ballot Measures Will Fail
On Thursday, Senate Republican Leader Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Temecula) predicted that five of the six ballot measures on a May 19 special election, including two measures that would shift funding for mental health and children's health care, would not garner enough votes for approval, the Sacramento Bee reports (Ferriss, Sacramento Bee, 3/27).
The measures, if approved,Â would complete the budget Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed last month that uses tax increases, spending cuts and borrowing to cover California's projected budget deficit through fiscal year 2009-2010 (California Healthline, 3/26).
According to Hollingsworth, the only ballot measure with a chance of passing is Proposition 1F, which would prohibit pay raises for California elected officials during budget deficit years (Sacramento Bee, 3/27).
Propositions 1D, 1E
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. 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.
Proposition 1E would shift $226.7 million from mental health care programsÂ funded byÂ Proposition 63 to the existing Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Program for low-income children for two years.
In 2004, voters approved Proposition 63, which increased the state income tax on high-income Californians to fund mental health services.
Alternative Proposals Needed
According to a report by California's nonpartisan Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor, California will face a $12 billion budget deficit in fiscal year 2009-2010 if voters reject the ballot measures (California Healthline, 3/26).
Hollingsworth said, "Senate Republicans are going to be prepared to provide some alternatives" if voters reject the ballot measures. He said that Republicans' proposals wouldÂ include mostlyÂ spending cuts (Sacramento Bee, 3/27).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.