Gov. Brown releases revised budget proposal with $2 billion less projected revenue

May 16, 2016
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care Mental Health 

On Friday, Governor Jerry Brown unveiled his $169.3 billion revised spending plan for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.  The state estimates revenue will be $1.9 billion less than expected this year, due to sluggish tax receipts. Brown’s plan includes no spending cuts compared to the January budget proposal, with the revenue drop offset by a corresponding decrease in required transfers into state reserves and various funding formulas.

The proposal includes one major new policy change: Endorsement of a Senate proposal to effectively shift $2 billion from mental health programs to housing for homeless and low-income Californians. To move these funds will require that Republicans vote to support the proposal (to gain the two-thirds vote required by law).

Within the Health and Human Services section of the budget, the Governor made several funding augmentations:

  • New Medi-Cal Waiver: The proposal includes $2.2 million in federal matching funds that were included in the recently approved 1115 Medi-Cal Waiver. This waiver is primarily hospital-focused; it expands existing uncompensated care pools and other quality programs.
  • Behavioral Health: Brown's budget includes an additional $180.2 million to provide federally-required behavioral health treatment services.
  • Medi-Cal Coverage for Undocumented Children: The proposal increases the amount set aside for expanding coverage for children regardless of immigration status by $45 million.
  • Mental Health – Continuum of Care Reform: The revised budget proposal increases funding by $6.4 million for county mental health costs associated with the Continuum of Care Reform efforts that were enacted last year.

Medi-Cal – MCO tax

In the months since Brown's January budget proposal, the Legislature passed a new managed care organization (MCO) tax package designed to preserve more than two billion dollars in federal and state funds for Medi-Cal. Brown's revised budget proposal reflects this new tax, which is also funding several other health and human services expenditures, including:

  • $287 million for various developmental services programs, including rate increases for providers who serve developmentally disabled individuals.
  • $240 million for future retiree health care costs.
  • $135 million to increase rates for Intermediate Care Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled and forgiveness of recoupment for Distinct Part Nursing Facilities.
  • $2 million for the UC PRIME Program, which trains medical students who wish to practice in medically-underserved areas.

For more information on the budget proposal as it relates to health care, see CMA's budget summary.

Contact: Eduardo Martinez, (800) 786-4262 or emartinez@cmadocs.org.

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