Assembly Budget Sub. No. 1 Hears All Member and Stakeholder Proposals, Including CHEAC/HOAC Budget Request

On Monday, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services held a marathon hearing of all health-related member and stakeholder proposals. In previous years, the subcommittee considered member and stakeholder proposals during hearings throughout the spring as related department items were addressed. However, this year, the subcommittee implemented a new process in which all of these proposals were heard in one hearing.

Monday’s hearing featured nearly 100 member and stakeholder proposals, spanning a broad range of departments, topics, and issues. In her opening remarks, Acting Subcommittee Chair Assembly Member Eloise Gómez Reyes expressed gratitude for number of proposals, indicating the committee found virtually all of the proposed investments “meritorious and compelling and worthy of our time and consideration.” Acting Chair Reyes outlined funding constraints of state spending and budgetary processes despite the state’s strong economic performance and indicated her hope to advance a number of key public health- and healthcare-related proposals.

Several Assembly Members and stakeholder organizations presented budget requests associated with legislative bills, including areas related to maternal mental health, Alzheimer’s disease awareness and prevention, and asthma prevention services.

Notably, CHEAC Past President and San Bernardino Public Health Director Trudy Raymundo presented our CHEAC/HOAC budget request for $50 million ongoing General Fund for local health department (LHD) communicable disease infrastructure. Ms. Raymundo outlined ongoing challenges experienced by LHDs throughout California, particularly in light of unprecedented increases in infectious diseases and decreased and siloed state and federal funding. In her presentation, Ms. Raymundo underscored the fact LHDs are the only entity statutorily responsible for infectious disease prevention and control, as well as the need for flexibility in funding to enable jurisdictions to address conditions and diseases specific to California’s diverse communities.

Assembly Member Jim Wood inquired about funding cuts experienced by LHDs as a result of the Great Recession and the lack of a funding restoration, particularly in 1991 Health Realignment. Wood, indicating that he had heard from LHDs in his district, expressed his desire to support the funding request and emphasized the importance of flexible funding. Acting Chair Reyes further inquired about communicable disease rates in San Bernardino County and expressed her gratitude for Ms. Raymundo presenting the budget request on behalf of her county and all California LHDs.

A video clip of Ms. Raymundo’s budget request presentation is available here.

All member and stakeholder proposals were held open. A hearing agenda is available here. A full recording of the subcommittee hearing is available here.