The regional centers in California rely on funding from the Federal and State government in order to provide services to consumers and their families. The State budget is of particular concern due to the immediate impact it has on regional center programs. The information on this page is intended to provide current summaries of budget issues which affect Far Northern Regional Center.
HOW CAN I MONITOR THE LEGISLATIVE BUDGET AND POLICY COMMITTEE OR SUBCOMMITTEE HEARINGS IF I CANNOT ATTEND?
People can monitor California legislative policy and budget hearings in several ways including live cable televised broadcasts (limited to cable services that offer it); live audio; and live internet streaming from the CalChannel and legislative websites.
Nearly all hearings – even those not televised live – can be watched later (at least by the next day) in the video archive. See below for information.
LIVE VIDEO STREAM – INTERNET
Most of the scheduled hearings can be viewed live on the CalChannel website at http://www.calchannel.com/live-webcast/
The page will say “LIVE Webcast California Legislative Hearings” Below that heading, look for the floor session, committee or subcommittee you wish to monitor and the scheduled time of the hearing or floor session and at that time.
When the hearing or floor session starts, the posted date and time will changed to “In Progress – View Event” Click on that, and a box should open up with the live stream.
WATCHING A HEARING LATER:
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.
LIVE CABLE TV BROADCAST
People can also view the hearing via cable TV through 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: http://www.calchannel.com/local-listing/
To find out what hearings will be televised live 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/
AUDIO ONLY INTERNET BROADCAST AND LIVE VIDEO STREAM
Look for the hearing you want to listen to below, find the room number, and then click on the Assembly website link: http://assembly.ca.gov/listentorooms and then click on the room number (or chamber) where the hearing or floor session is located.
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).
The live video stream also available on this page is different from the CalChannel video stream, with the video camera in a fixed position and the quality not as good.
READ THE LATEST CALIFORNIA BUDGET NEWS ON GOOGLE NEWS!
State Budget – Governor and Legislature Strike Budget Deal (June 9, 2016)
Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders reached an agreement Thursday, June 9th, on a new budget to fund state government, a proposal highlighted by $400 million in low-income housing subsidies as well as expanded funding for child care and early learning programs.
The plan received its first public vetting by the Legislature’s budget conference committee Thursday evening. A formal vote by both the state Senate and Assembly would come later, though the timing remains unclear. California’s new fiscal year begins July 1.
“We’re on a very good path right now and I think we can all be proud of what we’re going to be delivering to the people of California,” said state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco).
The housing money would come with strings attached, according to administration officials who had been briefed on the details, and it could not be spent unless lawmakers loosened regulations on homebuilders.
Housing has been one of the most talked about issues during the spring budget season at the state Capitol, and Brown has urged lawmakers to streamline the process for building new housing units.
The agreement comes almost one week before the constitutional deadline for a new budget, an early compromise that’s likely a sign of just how few contentious issues there were between Brown and his fellow Democrats.
The governor offered a concession to Democrats when revising his budget last month, agreeing to a $2-billion bond measure aimed at mental health needs for the homeless. Legislators responded by embracing Brown’s January proposal to divert an extra $2 billion into the state’s rainy-day fund, an effort to cushion against any economic downturn that might be on the horizon. Both of those items are in the final agreement reached Thursday.
As part of the budget deal, rates paid to state-subsidized child care providers are being ramped up to keep pace with California’s increasing minimum wage. The extra funding is expected to total $500 million annually starting in 2019.
News of the expanded effort on child care programs for low-income families was welcomed by members of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, which made the issue its top priority.
“This is going to be the biggest appropriation in a decade,” said Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), the caucus’ vice chairwoman. “We’re trying to be progressive and think about the future.”
Lawmakers would also repeal a 20-year-old rule known as the maximum family grant, which prevents mothers from receiving additional welfare assistance if they have another child.
“It’s been a long overdue process of eliminating a rule that everyone knew was unfair,” said Chris Hoene, executive director of the California Budget & Policy Center, a nonprofit that advocates for programs aimed at low-income families. “It’s good news that they’re finally doing that.”
Under the change, families would receive an extra $136 per month per child. An estimated 130,000 children in 95,000 families would benefit.
“It’s the difference between making a rent payment or being put out on the street,” said Frank Mecca, executive director of the County Welfare Directors Assn. of California. “For a family living on or below the edge, it’s going to make a huge difference.”
The budget ageement boosts funding for both the University of California and California State University systems if more in-state students are admitted. UC’s money requires the system to place a new cap on out-of-state student enrollment.
On housing, the budget deal represents a promise to address the priorities of both Democratic legislators and Brown.
Democrats in the Assembly had pushed for the new housing subsidies money as the state’s affordability crisis has continued to spiral. Brown had resisted, saying subsidies didn’t deliver enough bang for the buck. Instead, he proposed clearing some local regulatory hurdles for developers if they reserved units in their projects for low-income residents.
The budget now incorporates both demands, as the new housing money is contingent on lawmakers approving Brown’s proposal at a later date.
State Budget – May Revise 2016 (May 13, 2016)
Warning that the State’s “…surging tide of revenue is beginning to turn as it always does,” Governor Brown released his “May Revise” budget revisions to his proposed 2016-2017 State Budget plan that largely holds the line in new major increases in spending beyond what he proposed in January and that was part of the new funding for developmental services tied to the passage of the managed care organization tax swap in late February.
The Governor’s May Revise proposal reports that the State’s revenues have “lagged expectations” while the Governor and Legislature have made major new spending commitments. His “May Revise” proposal shows projected State revenues for the current budget year that ends June 30, 2016, reduced by $1.9 billion, reflecting what the Department of Finance termed “poor April income tax receipts and more sluggish sales tax receipts than expected.”
The Governor’s “May Revise” proposal, as expected, contains no spending reductions and no significant new spending increases beyond what the Governor proposed in January and what was part of the developmental services funding increases tied to the passage of the managed care organization tax swap in late February, though does call for a 1.4% increase to CalWORKS grants effective October 1, 2016.
“What we don’t spend today, we minimize the pain later…we do need reserves,” the Governor said, warning that California needed to “get ready” for the next recession and significant dip in State revenues that could come within the next few budget years.
Brown said the State needed to hold the line on on-going new spending noting that the “…only way to finance new programs is to fund those programs and then take it back” when revenues fall and the recession comes.
His budget plan in January and the subsequent new funding for developmental services tied to the successful passage of the managed care organization tax swap passed in late February by the Legislature does include significant new on-going spending for health and human services, but the increases fell far short of what disability, senior and low income advocates pushed for, who urged larger increases than what the Governor proposed for the SSP portion of the SSI/SSP (Supplemental Security Income/State Supplemental Payment) grants.
The Governor repeated throughout the press conference that he wanted to avoid more painful cuts to critical programs and services when a downturn in revenues hits the State, saying that he did not “…want to repeat these errors [of past Governors and policymakers]…at the very moment when everyone feels the best [in terms of State surpluses and revenues] and then a “recession hits”.
Here are some of the major highlights of the Governor’s May Revise impacting health and human services. CDCAN will issue a more detailed report later today:
IN-HOME SUPPORTIVE SERVICES
7% RESTORATION – Proposes in the 2016-2017 State Budget $265.8 million in State general funds to continue restoration of the 7% across the board reduction in services for all IHSS recipients. The May Revise proposes to tie the continued restoration of the 7% to the existence of the State’s managed care organization tax, which is now set to expire June 30, 2019. Under the Governor’s May Revise plan, the IHSS 7% restoration of services would, as a result, continue at least until June 30, 2019.
OVERTIME – Proposes to increase in State general fund spending of $3.6 million in the current 2015-2016 State budget year and $22.3 million in the 2016-2017 State Budget proposal to cover costs related with exempting certain IHSS providers who meet specific criteria from the State’s IHSS overtime restrictions that went into effect February 1, 2016. Exemptions are available for live‑in family care IHSS providers who, as of January 31, 2016, reside in the home of two or more disabled minor or adult children or grandchildren for whom they provide services. A second type of exemption will be considered for IHSS recipients with extraordinary circumstances and granted on a case‑by‑case basis. Under either exemption, the maximum number of hours a provider may work cannot exceed 360 hours
per month. Not included are proposals pushed by advocates that called for broader exemptions and also a delay in the enforcement of penalties for violations of the State’s overtime rules for IHSS and Waiver Personal Care Services workers.
SSI/SSP (SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME/STATE SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENT) GRANTS
The Governor’s May Revise proposal still contains the proposed increase of 2.76% effective January 1, 2017, in the State Supplemental Payment (SSP) portion of the SSI/SSP grant that he proposed in January. Advocates for people with disabilities, mental health needs, the blind, seniors and low income families and individuals had pushed for increases beyond what the Governor proposed in January.
The Governor’s May Revise proposal calls for a 1.4% increase to CalWORKS grant, effective October 1, 2016. CalWORKS is the State’s “welfare to work” program that includes many parents and children with special needs.
The Governor’s May Revise calls for total spending under the Department of Developmental Services budget that funds regional centers and developmental centers in the 2016-2017 State Budget of $6.7 billion in total funds, approximately $4 billion of that in State general funds.
The community service portion of the budget (regional centers) is $6.1 billion in total funds ($3.6 billion in State general funds) of that $6.7 billion.
The developmental centers portion of the total $6.7 billion budget under the Department of Developmental Services is projected to be $526 million in total funds ($307 million in State general funds).
COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES AND SUPPORTS – No major changes from what the Governor proposed in January or what was included in the additional funding contained in ABx2 1 passed by the Legislature in the health care funding special session in late February that did include $169 million for direct care wage pass through, rate increases for specific provider groups, funding targeted for competitive integrated employment outcomes and funding targeted to help community-based providers and the people they serve in the transition to the new federal Medicaid Home and Community Based Service regulations.
REGIONAL CENTER OPERATIONS AND DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES HEADQUARTERS – The Governor’s May Revise proposal includes $6.6 million in State general funds for the 2016-2017 State Budget for regional center operations and the Department of Developmental Services headquarters for additional resources needed to implement changes required by ABx2 1 (the special session bill that included additional major funding for developmental services tied to the passage of the managed care organization tax swap in late February), including provisions requiring reduction in cultural disparities and provisions related to new funding tied to competitive integrated employment of persons with developmental disabilities.
COMPETITIVE INTEGRATED EMPLOYMENT – The Governor’s May Revise includes proposal for legislative language (referred to as “budget trailer bill language” for budget related bills that follow or trail the main budget bill that provides changes or additions to State law to implement provisions in the main budget bill) that clarifies that the competitive integrated employment incentives included as part of the additional funding for developmental services in ABx2 1 passed in late February, would apply to any regional center vendor who provides employment related services and not just to supported employment providers.
OUT OF HOME RESPITE SERVICES – The Governor’s May Revise includes proposal for budget trailer bill language that would clarify that the 5% rate increase provided for by ABx2 1 passed in late February, applies to out of home respite services. That special session bill, included other rate increases for specific provider groups, including in-home respite services, but some advocates raised concerns that it did not specifically mention – but did mean to include – out of home respite services.
MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE IN JANUARY 2017 – The Governor’s May Revise proposal calls for $21.2 million in total funds ($12 million of that in State general funds) to cover the increase of the State’s minimum wage from $10 an hour to $10.50 an hour for regional center funded providers for those staff who may be still receiving the State minimum wage as of January 1, 2017.
DEVELOPMENTAL CENTERS – No changes proposed in terms of closure plans and timelines.
DEVELOPMENTAL CENTERS INDEPENDENT MONITORING CONTRACT – Governor’s May Revise proposes $1.9 million in total funds ($1.2 million in State general funds) for the 2016-2017 State Budget for an independent monitoring contract for Fairview and Porterville Developmental Centers. According to the Department of Developmental Services, the State has not yet concluded final negotiations with the federal Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), that will address how California will come into compliance addressing and correcting major violations tied to the continued federal funding of those two developmental centers. Federal funding for those two centers, according to the Department of Developmental Services, was extended to June 2, 2016 pending the conclusion of the final negotiations of the agreement between the State and federal government that will include the independent monitoring contract. The State expects approval of that agreement.
DEVELOPMENTAL CENTERS – RETENTION OF DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER STATE EMPLOYEES – The Governor’s May Revise includes proposal to amend the public contract code to make it easier for current State employees of the Developmental Centers to transition and become regional center funded service providers by allowing those employees to continue to work until they actually are ready to provide services and become vendored by the regional center. In addition the Governor’s May Revise include proposals for incentives with the goal of keeping current Developmental Center employees to work at the centers – slated for closure – as long as possible. That additional funding for incentives for those employees will be included in the State’s general compensation budget under the Department of Finance, subject to collective bargaining by the Developmental Center employees with the State.
DEVELOPMENTAL CENTERS – MANAGED CARE ENROLLMENT – the Governor’s May Revise includes proposal for budget trailer bill language with the Department of Health Care Services and Department of Developmental Services that would specify that people moving out of the Developmental Centers will be eligible for early enrollment to their Medi-Cal managed care plan, including a timeline. The proposal is meant to address some of the concerns and problems that were raised related to people who moved out of the now closed Lanterman Developmental Center.
Special Links To Budget Related Sites: