From: Henry Long
To: Frank Moore
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2008 9:12 AM
Subject: FW: CDCAN REPORT #036-2008: Legislature Approves Emergency Budget Actions - Cuts Medi-Cal, SSI/SSP, Regional Centers
Hi Frank and Linda,
Attached are some news about IHSS took place in Sacramento, thought you might want to know.
Older Adult Services Group
CDCAN DISABILITY RIGHTS NEWS REPORT
California Disability Community Action Network
Advocacy Without Borders:
News Impacting People With Disabilities, Mental Health Needs, Seniors & Others
Goes out to over 45,000 people, organizations, policy makers across California
Report #036-2008 - February 15, 2008 - Friday morning
LEGISLATURE APPROVES EMERGENCY BUDGET ACTIONS INCLUDING OVER $1.4 BILLION IN CUTS - PACKAGE OF BILLS HEAD TO GOVERNOR FOR APPROVAL
Approves 10% Medi-Cal Rate Reduction July 1 - Continues Regional Center Cost Containments - Approves Suspension of Cost of Living for SSP & CalWORKS Until October 2008 - No Action Until Regular Budget Process on IHSS, Adult Protective Services, Foster Care and Adoption Assistance Programs, Supported Employment Program
SACRAMENTO (CDCAN) - Both houses of the Legislature this morning (February 15) gave final approval to a package of bills that okays some but not all of the Governor's proposed emergency budget cuts, that include a 10% rate reduction to most Medi-Cal providers, including adult day health centers, effective July 1, 2008, permanent continuation of existing regional center "cost containment" measures including expansion of a share of cost program for families, and suspension of the state funded cost of living increases due June 1, 2008 for SSI/SSP for five months until October 1, 2008. Cost of living increases due to CalWORKS recipients on July 1 was also suspended until October 1, 2008. [See separate CDCAN Report for details on the cuts as approved by both houses. CDCAN will also be holding a series of townhall telemeetings on the budget].
The Assembly took action first on the package of bills and then adjourned, with the State Senate then approving those bills and adjourning just before 12 noon today.
The overall impact of the passage of the emergency budget actions and cuts, according to leaders in both houses is to reduce overall projected $14.5 billion shortfall projected by the end of the 2008-2009 State Budget year to about $7 billion. The package of bills, according to legislative leaders from both parties, will also eliminate the $3 billion shortfall in the current 2007-2008 State budget year that ends June 30, 2008 and create a $1 billion reserve. However those savings and figures could change by May depending on the State's economy and revenues coming in by then. In addition, the task of closing even a $7 billion deficit is daunting - with all of the Governor's proposals for sweepings cuts that the Legislature did not act on yet, still on the table.
Senate Floor Gets Heated
Unlike in the Assembly, the debate on the Senate floor at many points got fierce with Sen. Jeff Denham (Republican - Merced, 12th District), under threat of a recall in his Senate district, angrily accusing the Democratic leadership of pushing for his recall because of his votes last year's budget and cited the dumping of Sen. Joe Simitian (Democrat - Palo Alto, 11th) as a committee chair for raising questions during the February 13th Senate budget committee hearing, and said he would not be voting to support any of the budget bills.
Sen. Sheila Kuehl (Democrat - Santa Monica, 23rd District) strongly refuted that charge saying that the issue wasn't about an individual legislator but the impact on Californians, citing the sweeping cuts to health, human services and education.
Sen. Tom McClintock (Republican - Thousand Oaks, 19th District) said the issue raised by Denham wasn't about himself but a larger problem in the State Senate in discussing issues.
Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata (Democrat - Oakland, 9th District) gave an impassioned floor speech about the budget and its impact on millions of California and the difficult choices saying there were "no evil people" in the State Senate. He wondered about how the State could push for health care and human services, and yet make cuts to health and human services, or push for quality education and make cuts to education
Medi-Cal 10% Rate Reduction Approved
* Both houses approved the 10% rate reduction to most Medi-Cal providers as proposed by the Governor, but changed the effective date to July 1, 2008 instead of June 1, 2008 . The cut will mean a reduction to the Medi-Cal program in the 2008-2009 State Budget of over $540 million.
* Neither house took action on the proposed elimination of some Medi-Cal optional benefits.
Regional Center $329 Million Cost Containment Made Permanent
* Both houses approved to continue on a permanent basis, the regional center cost containment measures that will cut over $329 million (including federal funds) from the regional center budget for the 2008-2009 State Budget year.
* Approved to continue on a permanent basis other regional center cost containment measures impacting operations.
* Approved to continue on a permanent basis the current family cost participation program (sometimes referred to as family share of cost or parental co-payments) that was due to end June 30, 2009, and also approved expansion of the program to include, for those families whose income exceed a certain level, children under the Early Intervention Program.
* Neither house took action yet on the Governor's proposed 10% rate reduction to the supported employment program.
Suspends CalWORKS and State Portion of SSI/SSP Grants to October 1, 2008
* Both houses also approved suspending or delaying the cost of living ]increases for the SSP portion of the SSI/SSP grants to the lowest income people with disabilities, seniors and the blind, due June 1, 2008 to October 1, 2008, which is different from the Governor's proposal that called for a full year cut or suspension of the cost of living increase due June 1, 2008 for the state portion (SSP) of the SSI/SSP grants.
* It took no action yet on the Governor's proposal to suspend or cut the cost of living increase for the state portion (SSP) due June 1, 2009.
* Both houses also approved a delay in cost of living increases due to CalWORKs recipients on July 1, 2008 to October 1, 2008, which the Governor did not propose in his January 10 proposed State Budget.
No Action Yet on IHSS, SSI/SSP COLA for 2009, Foster Care, Adoption Assistance
Neither house actually rejected any of the Governor's proposals - but held off taking action on several other major proposed cuts that they will further review and take final action later during the regular budget process that begins with budget subcommittee hearings in March through early May:
* In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) - held off taking action until the regular budget hearings that will be held from March through early May, on the Governor's proposed 18% reduction in the non-medical, domestic and related hours for persons receiving IHSS, and also 10% reduction to the counties in the administration of IHSS
* Medi-Cal optional benefits - held off taking action until the regular budget hearings in March through May, on the Governor's proposal to eliminate some of the Medi-Cal optional benefits
* Adult Protective Services - held off taking action until the regular budget hearings that will be held from March through early May on the Governor's proposed cuts to this program
* Foster Care and Adoption Assistance Programs - held off taking action until the regular budget hearings that will be held from March through earfly May on the Governor's proposed cuts, including a 10% rate reduction to these programs.
* Supported Employment Program - held off taking action until the regular budget hearings that will be held from March through early May on the Governor's proposed 10% rate reduction to this program
* Education Funding - held off taking action on the Governor's proposal to suspend the State Constitution provision(referred to as Proposition 98) that guarantees a certain level
Bills Passed By Both Houses Going to Governor For Approval
* The bills containing the emergency budget cuts and other changes as passed by both houses (copies of these bills can be found on the CDCAN website at www.cdcan.us)
* The bills have a designation of "x3" which stands for the 3rd extraordinary (or special) session.
* These bills all required 2/3rds vote in both houses - meaning it needed votes of Democrats and some Republicans to pass.
* The bills, when signed by the Governor, will go into effect immediately - though the actual cuts or cost shifting or deferrals go into effective depending on the dates specificed for each specific program.
ABx3 3 - Contains line item changes to the 2007-2008 State Budget act
In addition to ABx3 3, the following are budget related or "trailer bills" that contain needed changes in State law that would implement the budget cuts, cost shifting and delays in payments in ABx3 3:
ABx3 4 - Education cuts, shifting of funding
ABx3 5 - Health (includes changes to state law that implement Medi-Cal provider rate reduction, regional centers)
ABx3 6 - Human Services (includes SSI/SSP and CalWORKS state funded cost of living suspension until 10/08)
ABx3 7 - Transportation (including delay payments to local counties of gas tax reimbursements)
ABx3 8 - General government (includes defers filling unfilled and new judgeships)
SBx3 8 which contained the same contents of ABx3 10, passed the State Senate with 28 votes, but there was no chance of passage, where ABx3 10 failed earlier, in the Assembly, who adjourned for the weekend and holiday before the Senate took its action.
Sen. Denise Ducheny (Democrat - San Diego, 40th District) said it was not a tax increase but restores a law that was in effect in 2004. She said the loophole was "big enough to fly an airplane" through it. Sen. Sheila Kuehl (Democrat - Santa Monica, 23rd District) said it was more horrible to make cuts to education, Healthy Families and other programs.
Sen. Dick Ackerman (Republican - Irvine, 33rd District) said that the economic impact is "severe" and would mean a loss of the State's revenues - a point echoed by Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth (Republican Murrieta, 36th District) who also said it would hurt families and working people who work in the industries targeted by the bill.
Breaking with his Republican Senate members and under threat of a recall in his district, Sen. Jeff Denham (Republican - Merced, 12th District) however said he believed it was a loophole that should be closed, but said if it was truly a bi-partisan effort to close loopholes, wondered about not making other cuts or close other loopholes.
New incoming Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (Democrat - Sacramento, 6th District) said it would be better to close the loophholes and put the savings and not cut Medi-Cal providers.
* The emergency budget bills now head to the Governor for approval, which he will sign in the next few days.
* Governor will issue a revision to his proposed budget, in Mid-May that could contain new proposals, new economic information about the State's revenues and spending.
* Legislative Analyst Office will release its annual review of the Governor's budget proposal, on February 20th
* Legislative budget subcommittees will begin to hold hearings on next year's budget in March through early May.
Frank Moore wrote:
yep, this will hit us here hard! people ask why i am running for president. well, this is why! politicians keep yammering about NO NEW TAXES. but the truth is these cuts are tax on the poor, disabled, seniors, and kids!
Henry Long wrote:
I absolutely agreed, common sense dose not prevail in many public funding allocation in this country. The politicians have no visional except their own. Yuck……….
Frank Moore wrote:
yep...they are visionally challenged!