January 12, 2021
Friday, January 8, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom released his state budget proposal for fiscal year 2021-2022. Included in the $164.5 billion budget, is $34 billion in “budget resiliency”—including reserves and surplus.
The California Medical Association (CMA) is pleased that Gov. Newsom has put forward a balanced budget that protects access to health care – particularly for low-income Californians.
“The governor’s budget maintains key tobacco funding for Medi-Cal programs and earmarks billions to fast-track the distribution of vaccines and reopen schools safely,” said CMA President Peter N. Bretan, Jr., M.D. “As we continue to wrestle with this pandemic, California must ensure that our health care infrastructure, including physician practices, have the financial supports they need to weather the current financial storm that has hit so many practices across the state, to ensure that coverage networks remain strong and that all Californians have access to a physician if and when they need one.”
While the economic outlook has improved since the 2020 budget was enacted, risks to California’s budget remain high. Over 4 million Californians remain unemployed and approximately half of the jobs lost during the pandemic have not been recovered. The structural deficit in the out-years lingers, with $7.6 billion in shortfall in 2022-23 growing to over $11 billion by 2024-25.
The budget subcommittees in both the Senate and Assembly will now begin to meet to review and debate the Governor’s proposed budget on a tightened timeframe. CMA will continue to advocate for our priorities, including maintaining the Proposition 56 tobacco tax funding, fortifying the state’s health care workforce and increasing access to care for all Californians.