Medi-Cal in the Governor’s Proposed 2014-15 Budget: Health Care Reform Boosts Enrollment and Federal Funding

March 21, 2014

Medi-Cal — the Medicaid Program in our state — provides health care coverage for millions of low-income Californians, primarily children, youth, and women. Last year, state policymakers approved expanding Medi-Cal — as authorized by federal health care reform — to extend coverage to more than 1 million low-income adults who had not previously been eligible for the program and made other changes intended to increase enrollment.

A new CBP analysis — the latest in a series of briefs on key components of Governor Brown’s proposed 2014-15 budget — looks at the Medi-Cal Program. This brief shows that 1.5 million Californians are projected to enroll in the program due to implementation of health care reform, bringing total Medi-Cal enrollment to slightly more than 10 million. This boost in enrollment is projected to increase federal funding for Medi-Cal by more than $10 billion through June 2015.

At the same time, however, the Governor’s proposed budget largely maintains a 10 percent cut to Medi-Cal payments for doctors, dentists, and other providers, which could hinder enrollees’ access to care.

This CBP brief on Medi-Cal in the Governor’s budget proposal can be found — along with the full series of briefs, which covers education, human services, corrections, and other topics —  on our website.

— Steven Bliss


SSI/SSP in the Governor’s Proposed 2014-15 Budget: Assistance for Seniors and People With Disabilities Is Left Below the Poverty Line

March 5, 2014

The Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) Program provides modest cash grants — funded with both federal and state dollars — that help 1.3 million low-income seniors and people with disabilities in California to pay for food, housing, and other basic necessities.

A new CBP analysis — the latest in a series of briefs on key components of Governor Brown’s proposed 2014-15 budget — looks at the SSI/SSP Program. This brief shows that despite an improved revenue outlook, the Governor’s proposal does not boost state support for SSI/SSP grants. As a result of recent years’ cuts to the state portion of SSI/SSP grants, the current grant for an individual — $877 as of January 1 — is 10 percentage points below the federal poverty line.

The brief also examines how the cuts to SSI/SSP grants have made it more difficult for low-income seniors and people with disabilities to afford basic living expenses and discusses options that state policymakers have for increasing support for SSI/SSP recipients.

SSI/SSP will be one of the major items taken up today by Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services. The subcommittee will meet at 1:30 p.m. in Capitol Room 4202.

— Steven Bliss


CalWORKs in the Governor’s Proposed 2014-15 Budget: Assistance for Low-Income Families Is Left Far Below the Poverty Line

February 7, 2014

The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) Program is a key part of the state’s system of supports for low-income families with children. CalWORKs provides modest cash assistance as well as an array of services that prepare parents to find and keep jobs.

A new CBP analysis — the third in a series of briefs on key components of Governor Brown’s proposed 2014-15 budget — looks at the CalWORKs Program. This brief shows that despite the state’s improving revenue outlook, the Governor’s proposal would leave CalWORKs cash grants near the diminished level to which they were cut during the Great Recession. Under the Governor’s proposed budget, the maximum grant would remain well below the “deep poverty” cutoff, which is 50 percent of the federal poverty line.

The brief highlights the serious toll that poverty takes on children, families, and society and offers specific policy recommendations for boosting investments in low-income children and their families.

For additional analysis on the Governor’s 2014-15 budget proposal, read the CBP’s prior briefs on K-12 education and child care and preschool, as well as the initial analysis we published in the days following the release of the Governor’s proposal in early January.

Finally, don’t miss out on our annual briefing on the Governor’s proposed budget, coming up on Wednesday, February 19, from 10:30 to noon. An Incomplete Vision: Putting the Governor’s Proposed 2014-15 Budget in Context will examine the Governor’s budget proposal in depth, and there are two ways to join the briefing: in person at the CSAC Conference Center in Sacramento or online via webinarGet additional details and register.

— Steven Bliss


K-12 Education in the Governor’s Proposed 2014-15 Budget: Increased Revenues Boost Funding for Schools

January 31, 2014

California’s public schools educate a large, diverse student population, with over 6 million students enrolled in more than 1,000 school districts statewide.

A new CBP analysis — the latest in a series of briefs on Governor Brown’s 2014-15 proposed budget — looks at state spending on K-12 education and discusses how higher revenues have boosted funding for California K-12 schools, increasing spending per student to nearly the pre-recession level. In addition, the Governor’s proposal would increase support provided through the state’s new school funding formula approved by policymakers last year.

This CBP brief also discusses how, over the long term, it will take additional state revenues for California to make the necessary investments in students and their families.

For additional analysis on the Governor’s proposed 2014-15 budget, read the CBP’s initial analysis of the proposal and our recent brief on child care and preschool in the the proposed budget.

— Steven Bliss


“An Incomplete Vision”: Join Us February 19 for the CBP’s Annual Briefing on the Governor’s Proposed Budget

January 30, 2014

The California Budget Project is pleased to announce that our annual briefing on the Governor’s proposed budget will be Wednesday, February 19, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Join us — either in person in Sacramento or remotely via webinar — for An Incomplete Vision: Putting the Governor’s Proposed 2014-15 Budget in Context. This briefing will address key questions about the Governor’s budget proposal, such as:

  • With state revenues coming back, what facets of the budget is the Governor prioritizing?
  • What might the major elements of the Governor’s budget proposal mean for low- and middle-income Californians and for our state’s future?
  • What is the economic and social context for the Governor’s proposal? And how could it shape this year’s budget debate?

You can choose one of two ways to participate: Attend the briefing in person at the CSAC Conference Center in downtown Sacramento, or join online via webinar. Sign up for your choice on this registration page.

For additional information or if you have any questions, please contact the CBP at cbp@cbp.org or (916) 444-0500.

We look forward to your joining us on February 19!

— Steven Bliss


Child Care and Preschool in the Governor’s Proposed 2014-15 Budget: Deep Cuts From Prior Years Remain in Place

January 22, 2014

Access to high-quality, affordable child care and preschool is extremely important for families across California. Child care and preschool help children learn and explore, while allowing parents to find and keep jobs knowing their children are in good hands.

A new CBP analysis — the first in a series of briefs on Governor Brown’s 2014-15 proposed budget — takes a look at child care and preschool funding, and shows that the Governor’s proposal would leave in place current, diminished levels of support. Despite increased state revenues, the Governor’s budget proposal includes no major reinvestment in child care and preschool funding, which state policymakers have cut by nearly 40 percent in recent years.

This CBP brief looks at several key benefits of subsidized child care and preschool and identifies policy options for boosting support for these programs.

— Steven Bliss