Budget Watch

In an effort to keep our stakeholders informed about the state of California budget, and how the budget will impact funding, as well as programs and services, we post news on “Budget Watch”. This page features updates from the Governor and Legislature, links to important news articles and various budget and advocacy related web sites, as well as important information about how you can get involved to make a difference. Visit this page regularly to keep current on budget issues.

CDCAN Reports - Budget Vote set for This Afternoon

State Capitol Update:

BUDGET VOTE SET FOR THIS AFTERNOON BY LEGISLATURE TO MEET DEADLINE IN STATE CONSTITUTION AS BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE

Senate Budget & Fiscal Review Committee Met Earlier And Approved 4 Budget Trailer Bills Dealing with An Augmentation/Increase To Current 2014-2015 State Budget; Nursing Facility Quality Assurance Fee; Public Works; and Transportation - A Revised Budget & Trailer Bills Will Be Taken Up Within Next Two Weeks Following Any Budget Deal With Governor & Democratic Legislative Leaders


SACRAMENTO, CA [CDCAN LAST UPDATED 06/15/2015 12:48 PM] – The Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, chaired by Senator Mark Leno (Democrat – San Francisco) met for about 40 minutes this afternoon to review and approve four budget related bills –called “trailer bills” that will be taken up and all but certain to be passed later today on the Senate and Assembly floors, along with the Legislature’s version of the 2015-2016 State Budget bill.  The four budget “trailer bills” are all proposals that the Brown Administration advanced or supported, covering augmentations to the current 2014-2015 State Budget; extension of the existing nursing home quality assurance fee program; transportation; and public works.

    Budget “trailer bills” – called that because the bills follow or “trail” the main budget bill, and make the necessary additions or changes in State law to implement certain changes in funding in the main budget bill.

    As previously reported by CDCAN, the Assembly will convene its’ floor session this afternoon at 1:30 PM and the State Senate at 2:00 PM  to take up, pass and send to Governor Brown the Legislature’s version of main 2015-2016 State Budget bill, in order to meet the June 15th deadline in the State Constitution. 

    The expected passage later today of that version is not the final word in the state budget with budget negotiations with the Governor and the two Democratic legislative leaders, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (Democrat – San Diego) and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon (Democrat – Los Angeles) that will continue until a deal is reached on the higher revenue estimates and increased spending in the Legislature’s version of the 2015-2016 State Budget that the Brown Administration has major concerns with. 

    Any budget deal that emerges within the next two weeks will mean another vote on another budget bill that will likely result in a revision of the revenue and spending numbers in the main 2015-2016 State Budget bill that the Legislature will approve today. Most observers expect any budget deal will mean some decrease in either or both the revenue estimates and increased spending in the budget plan that the Legislature will approve today.

    A revised budget bill, and budget trailer bills covering major areas of the budget that have not been released yet and will likely not be acted on today, including health and human services and education, will likely be taken up and approved when a budget deal is reached within the next two weeks before the start of California’s new budget year on July 1st.  Any deal however would seem likely to mean some downward revision of either or both the revenue estimates and increases in spending in the Legislature’s version of the main 2015-2016 State budget bill that will passed and sent to the Governor later today.

 

APPROVAL OF BUDGET CERTAIN TODAY – BUT A REVISED BUDGET IS CERTAIN TO FOLLOW

    The State Constitutional deadline for the Legislature to pass the main budget bill and send it to the Governor is June 15th.

    There is technically no deadline in the State Constitution for a governor to sign or act on the main budget bill once he or she receives it, though due to political public relations and potential impact on bond rating firms and other factors, approval of a spending plan by July 1st is fairly certain, especially when one party controls both the Legislature and the office of Governor as the Democrats do.

    Since passage in November 2010 of Proposition 25 allowing for approval of state budget by majority vote, unless taxes are increased, it is all but certain that the Legislature, controlled by Democrats in both houses, will pass the main budget bill and likely at least the four budget trailer bills and send it to the Governor on Monday.

     Less certain is what happens after that.

     One likely scenario is the main budget bill will be passed later today and sent to the Governor on June 15th, which would satisfy the deadline in the State Constitution, and also approve the four (and perhaps other) budget trailer bills that the Brown Administration supports, and holding action on the other budget trailer bills until a budget deal is reached within the next two weeks (they could also pass all the trailer bills and then hold them until a deal is reached, which doesn’t seem likely at this point). Under this scenario, once a deal is reached, the Legislature would then pass a revised main budget bill – referred to as “budget junior” - reflecting the deal with the Governor, and then pass and send to him budget trailer bills reflecting those revisions covering the other areas that likely would mean reduced spending.

    The Legislature and Governor have done similar types of action in recent years – but those budgets did not contain major spending increases that the Legislature wanted that was not in the governor’s budget plan.

   A less likely scenario is that the main budget bill and within a few days all trailer bills are all approved and sent to the Governor allowing or forcing him to veto the entire budget bill – as he did before – or veto entire budget trailer bills or use his line item veto power to reduce or eliminate certain funding increases.

 

BUDGET TRAILER BILLS (SO FAR) RELEASED

    The following is the list (so far) and links, compiled by CDCAN, of the budget trailer bills that the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee will be reviewing at 12:00 PM today (Monday), and that the Legislature will be approving on this afternoon (Monday, June 15th).  No action however is final until a budget bill and these (and other) trailer bills are signed into law by the Governor.

 

AB 95 – Transportation Budget Trailer Bill

AB 114 – Public Works Budget Trailer Bill

AB 116 – Augmentations to 2014-2015 State Budget Trailer Bill

AB 119 – Public Health: Nursing Facility Quality Assurance Budget Trailer Bill

SB 94 – Child Care and Development Budget Trailer Bill

 

LINKS TO TRAILER BILLS RELEASED SO FAR

    The following are links, compiled by CDCAN, to the official copies of budget trailer bills released as of June 15th:

     Note: As of June 15th, trailer bills dealing with health and human services, education are not yet available, and as reported by CDCAN last week, will likely not be released and taken up by the Legislature until after a budget deal is reached with the Governor and Democratic legislative leaders in the coming two weeks before July 1st, the start of the State’s new budget year. CDCAN will update this list as trailer bills become available. 

 

CHILD CARE AND DEVELOPMENT BUDGET TRAILER BILL

SB 94 – CHILD CARE AND DEVELOPMENT BUDGET TRAILER BILL

Copy of SB 94 (As Amended June 12, 2015) PDF Document – 23 Pages:

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/15-16/bill/sen/sb_0051-0100/sb_94_bill_20150612_amended_asm_v98.pdf

STATUS 06/12/2015: Amended in Assembly. Referred to Assembly Budget Committee.

CDCAN COMMENT: Not certain if this budget trailer bill will be taken up on the Assembly floor today (June 15th).  A version of this was not taken up and heard in the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee today.

 

AUGMENTATIONS (ADDITIONAL FUNDING) TO CURRENT 2014-2015 STATE BUDGET TRAILER BILL

   This budget trailer bill authorizes additional funding or augmentations – sometimes referred to as “deficiency funding” for budget areas that went over their budgeted spending projections for the current 2014-2015 State Budget year, including developmental services.

AB 116 – AUGMENTATIONS TO 2014-2015 STATE BUDGET TRAILER BILL

SUMMARY (BY SENATE BUDGET & FISCAL REVIEW COMMITTEE) OF BILL AS AMENDED JUNE 11 2015:

SUMMARY: This bill augments the Budget Act of 2014 to address various funding  shortfalls.

Background: This bill makes supplemental appropriations to the [State] Budget Act of 2014 in order to address the following shortfalls:

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES: Increased costs are associated with hospital presumptive eligibility; a delay in Medi-Cal redeterminations; behavioral health treatment services; increased Medicare payments; a decrease in the projected managed care organization tax savings; and reduced federal drug rebates. These increased costs are partially offset by increased savings due to litigation settlements and additional drug rebates, for a total deficiency of $241.2 million General Fund (GF).

DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES: Increased costs are associated with staffing adjustments at the state developmental centers; decertification of four intermediate care facility units at Sonoma Developmental Center; increased caseload and utilization costs for regional center consumers; and continuation costs for residents transitioning into the community from a developmental center. These increased costs are partially offset by a reduction in the estimated costs for the expansion of the secured treatment program at Porterville Developmental Center; reduced costs for the Fairview and Porterville developmental centers program improvement plan implementation; lower than anticipated costs associated with the state minimum wage increase [in July 2014]; and the court action that has delayed implementation of federal overtime requirements, for a total deficiency of $170 million GF [State general fund].

CALIFORNIA CORRECTIONAL HEALTH CARE SERVICES (RECEIVER): Increased costs are associated with increased California Health Care Facility staffing; Valley Fever testing; new high-cost Hepatitis C treatment; increased pharmaceutical costs; and adjustments based on the medical acuity staffing model, for a total deficiency of $107.7 million GF [State general funds].

DEPARTMENT OF GENERAL SERVICES: Increased costs are associated with the ongoing external legal representation in the case of California First, LLP (CalFirst) v. State of California, for a total deficiency of $2.5 million GF. This case concerns a purchase and sale agreement whereby CalFirst agreed to purchase 11 properties owned by the state. According to the Administration, this agreement automatically terminated when CalFirst failed to post a second deposit, as required by the agreement.

Homicide Trials: Under existing law, qualifying counties may seek reimbursement from the State Controller for extraordinary expenses associated with homicide trials. Two counties, Mariposa County in the case of People v. Cary Stayner and Lassen County in the case of People v. Joanne McElrath and Robin James, qualify for specified reimbursements, for a total supplemental cost of $72,000 GF [State general funds].

PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION: Increased costs are associated with the inclusion of wireless cell phones in the Universal Lifeline Telephone Service program, which provides discounted home phone and cell phone services to qualified families. This inclusion resulted in a 60 percent increase in claims, for a total deficiency of $96 million (Universal Lifeline Telephone Service Trust Administrative Committee Fund).

Proposed Law and Fiscal Effect: This bill augments the Budget Act of 2014 by $521,541,114 GF [State general funds] and $96,000,000 (Special Funds) to address various funding shortfalls.

COPY OF AB 116 (AS AMENDED JUNE 11, 2015) – PDF DOCUMENT COPY – 3 PAGES:

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/15-16/bill/asm/ab_0101-0150/ab_116_bill_20150611_amended_sen_v98.pdf

LAST ACTION 06/15/2015: Approved by Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee.

NEXT STEPS: To Senate floor

 

PUBLIC HEALTH: NURSING FACILITIES QUALITY ASSURANCE FEE BUDGET TRAILER BILL

AB 119 – PUBLIC HEALTH: NURSING FACLITIES BUDGET TRAILER BILL

SUMMARY (FROM SENATE BUDGET & FISCAL REVIEW COMMITTEE ANALYSIS):

Budget Act of 2015: Nursing home quality assurance fee and rate adjustments

BACKGROUND: AB 1629 (Frommer), Chapter 875, Statutes of 2004, enacted the MediCal Long-Term Care Reimbursement Act of 2004, which establishes a reimbursement system that bases Medi-Cal reimbursements to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) on the actual cost of care. Prior to AB 1629, SNFs were paid a flat rate per Medi-Cal resident.

This flat rate system provided no incentive for quality care and reimbursed SNFs for less than it cost to care for their residents.

AB 1629 also allows the state to leverage new federal Medicaid dollars by imposing a quality assurance fee (QAF) on SNFs. This new federal funding is used to increase nursing-home reimbursement rates. (Federal Medicaid law allows states to impose such fees on certain health-care service providers and in turn repay the providers through increased reimbursements.) Because the costs of Medicaid reimbursements to health care providers are split between states and the federal government, this arrangement provides a method by which states can leverage additional federal funds for the support of their Medicaid programs and offset state costs. In 2015-16, it is projected that the SNF QAF will offset over $500 million in General Fund expenditures.

AB 1629 contained a sunset date of July 1, 2008 and has been extended five times.

SB 853 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review), Chapter 717, Statutes of 2010, established the Quality and Accountability Supplemental Payment (QASP) program.

Under the QASP program, SNFs that meet minimum staffing standards can earn incentive payouts from a pool of supplemental funds. The payouts are awarded based on SNFs’ performance on certain quality measures (including clinical indicators), as well as SNFs’ improvement on these measures relative to the previous year. Under SB 853, a portion of each year’s weighted average rate increase was to be set aside to fund the

QASP payment pool. The set-aside amount was $43 million in 2013-14, and $90 million in the 2014-15 rate year. In 2013-14, about 477 out of 1,000 SNFs earned the QASP payouts.

PROPOSED LAW: This bill contains necessary statutory changes to implement the Budget Act of 2015 for the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).

1. Extends the sunset date for the skilled nursing facility rate-setting methodology established under AB 1629 (Frommer), Chapter 875, Statutes of 2004, as well as the Quality Assurance Fee (QAF) and Quality/Accountability Supplemental Payment (QASP) programs, from July 31, 2015, to July 31, 2020.

2. Specifies that beginning in 2015-16, the annual increase in the weighted average Medi-Cal reimbursement rate for skilled nursing facilities would be 3.62 percent. (The rate increase for 2013-14 and 2014-15 was three percent.)

3. Sets Quality Accountability Supplemental Payment Program (QASP) payments at the same level as existed for 2014-15 (approximately $90 million per year).

4. Extends the DHCS Administrative Procedure Act (APA) exemption through July 31, 2020, and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Public Contract Code exemption through December 31, 2020.

5. Beginning with the 2015-16 fiscal year, incorporates direct care staff retention as a performance measure for QASP to be developed in consultation with representatives from the long-term care industry, organized labor, and consumers.

6. Requires DHCS, in coordination with the Department of Public Health, to report to the Assembly and Senate budget subcommittees by May 1, 2016 regarding the quality and accountability payments including its assessment of if these payments are adequate to incentivize quality and are adequate to sustain the program.

Fiscal Effect: The QAF is estimated to generate $539.7 million in fee revenue from August 1, 2015 through July 31, 2016 (accrual). This fee revenue offsets General Fund expenditures used to reimburse skilled nursing facilities in Medi-Cal.

COPY OF AB 119 (AS AMENDED JUNE 11, 2015) PDF DOCUMENT – 22 PAGES:

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/15-16/bill/asm/ab_0101-0150/ab_119_bill_20150611_amended_sen_v98.pdf

LAST ACTION 06/15/2015: Approved by Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee.

NEXT STEPS: To Senate floor

 

PUBLIC WORKS BUDGET TRAILER BILL

AB 114 – PUBLIC WORKS BUDGET TRAILER BILL

COPY OF AB 114 (AS AMENDED JUNE 11, 2015) PDF DOCUMENT COPY – 14 PAGES:

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/15-16/bill/asm/ab_0101-0150/ab_114_bill_20150611_amended_sen_v98.pdf

LAST ACTION 06/15/2015: Approved by Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee.

NEXT STEPS: To Senate floor

 

TRANSPORTATION BUDGET TRAILER BILL

AB 95 – TRANSPORTATION BUDGET TRAILER BILL 

COPY OF AB 95 (AS AMENDED JUNE 11, 2015) PDF DOCUMENT COPY - 21 PAGES:

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/15-16/bill/asm/ab_0051-0100/ab_95_bill_20150611_amended_sen_v98.pdf

LAST ACTION 06/15/2015: Approved by Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee.

NEXT STEPS: To Senate floor

 

TRAILER BILLS NOT YET RELEASED

    The following trailer bills covering the following budget areas have not yet been released by the Legislature, according to CDCAN, as of June 15th:

 

HEALTH BUDGET TRAILER BILL

   Includes Medi-Cal program and public health programs. 

STATUS 06/15/2015: This trailer bill not yet available.

 

HUMAN SERVICES BUDGET TRAILER BILL

   Includes In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), SSI/SSP, CalWORKS, Child Welfare Services.

STATUS 06/15/2015: This trailer bill not yet available.

 

DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES BUDGET TRAILER BILL

   Covers developmental centers and regional center funded services under the Department of Developmental Services. In most years – including last year, there was a separate “developmental services” trailer bill – though in other years, developmental services was included in the human services budget trailer bill. 

STATUS 06/15/2015: This trailer bill (or the human services trailer bill) is not yet available.

 

K-12 EDUCATION BUDGET TRAILER BILL

    Covers K-12 education that includes special education. 

STATUS 06/15/2015: This trailer bill not yet available.

 

HIGHER EDUCATION BUDGET TRAILER BILL

    Covers community colleges, California State University and the University of California.

STATUS 06/15/2015:This trailer bill is not yet available.

 

HOW TO WATCH HEARINGS ON CALCHANNEL OR ON ASSEMBLY/SENATE TELEVISION LIVE

    There are several different ways to watch nearly all of the scheduled events (including those at the State Capitol by the Governor), policy and budget hearings at the State Capitol, either live or “on demand” (meaning sometime later after the hearing is held):

 

CDCAN INFO ON WATCHING A HEARING LIVE STREAMED ON INTERNET

    Go the CalChannel website tab under “Live Webcasts”:

    http://www.calchannel.com/live-webcast/

    Live broadcasts are listed by order of date and time – usually for that day only.  The streaming doesn’t begin usually until the actual scheduled time of the hearing or floor session (the time of the hearing to the right of committee name is where you click on to view the stream).  IF the hearing or floor session is not listed as one of the events to be streamed live, check below under “ASSEMBLY AND SENATE TELEVISION” for alternate way to watch the hearing or floor session. 

 

CDCAN INFO ON WATCHING A HEARING LATER (“ON DEMAND”)

    CalChannel.com keeps an archive of all the hearings held that can be viewed by anyone.  Viewing the live or recorded hearings from the CalChannel website is free.

    To view a recorded hearing, go to the CalChannel website and click the tab “Video on Demand” or click on this link:

    http://www.calchannel.com/video-on-demand/

    The page will list all the hearings recorded by date and committee name.  If you wish to download the entire hearing on your computer, click on the “MP4 Download” link next to the hearing you want.  If you wish to view the hearing from the website click the “video” link next to the hearing you want, under the “Watch” column. Both are free to the public.

 

CDCAN INFO ON LIVE CABLE TV BROADCAST

    People can also view the hearing via cable TV through CalChannel, though not all cable companies carry CalChannel.  To find what channel it may be on (if you cable company carries CalChannel) check this listing for your city or area and local cable company.

    The list is in alpha order by cable company:

    http://www.calchannel.com/local-listing/

    To find out what hearings will be televised live (different from live streaming on the internet) on your cable channel, go to the CalChannel.com website for the schedule of hearings that will be broadcast live (this is DIFFERENT from hearings that are streamed live) at:

    http://www.calchannel.com/tv-schedule/

 

CDCAN INFO ON FOR LIVE AUDIO ONLY VIA ASSEMBLY WEBPAGE

    For a live audio only (no video) of an Assembly hearing, click on the link below that will take you to the California State Assembly “Today’s Events”:

    http://assembly.ca.gov/todaysevents

    Scroll down past the title “Committee Hearings”.  Assembly Committee hearings (including budget subcommittee hearings) are listed in date order, and then by order of time.  When you find the desired committee hearing, click on “Listen To This Hearing” and a window should open up

    You can also find the audio link to a hearing not streamed live or broadcast live by CalChannel by going to California State Assembly “Room List” webpage, which lists all the rooms (including the chambers where floor sessions are conducted) where all hearings are held.

    http://assembly.ca.gov/listentorooms

    You have to know the room number the committee hearing is scheduled to be held in.  If you know, simply scroll down the page until the find the room number and then click on the link “Listen to this room”. 

 

CDCAN INFO - LIVE VIDEO STREAM (ASSEMBLY OR SENATE)

    If CalChannel is not streaming or broadcasting a specific hearing being held, often the Senate and Assembly may have a live video stream of the hearing, which can be accessed by clicking the link below.  The video stream, when it is provided,  is different from the CalChannel video stream, with the video camera in a fixed position and the quality not as good.  There is no archive of previous hearings held (unlike CalChannel).  Look for the hearing room or floor chambers you want to view live ( to below, find the room number, and then click on the Assembly website link:

   http://assembly.ca.gov/listentorooms

   After reaching that page,click on the room number (or chamber) where the hearing or floor session is located.   

   This is the same page where you can also click on the link for an audio only live stream of the hearing you want to listen to. As mentioned, the audio quality varies depending on the room and who is speaking.  (It doesn’t matter if the floor session or hearing is an Assembly or Senate floor session or hearing – you can access either through this site). 

 

CDCAN - MARTY OMOTO YOUTUBE CHANNEL

    A CDCAN (Marty Omoto, family member and advocate) youtube channel was set up and has several videos dealing with current – and previous state budget issues, disability and senior rights, and advocacy.

    To see the current videos, including March 2014 San Andreas Regional Center Aptos Legislative Breakfast, January 2014 panel discussion on services for adults with autism spectrum and related disorders in Palo Alto, and older videos including video of April 2003 march of over 3,000 people with developmental disabilities, families, providers, regional centers and others from the Sacramento Convention Center to the State Capitol (to attend and testify at budget hearing on proposed massive permanent cuts to regional center funded services, go to the CDCAN (Marty Omoto) Channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEySEyhnr9LQRiCe-F7ELhg

 

    More videos – including new current videos (an interview with longtime advocate Maggie Dee Dowling is planned, among others) – plus archive videos of past events – will be posted soon.