Assembly Convenes Oversight Hearings on CalREDIE, State Expenditures
This week, the Assembly convened two oversight hearings of interest to local health departments. Below, we summarize the hearings:
Public Health Guidance and CalREDIE
On Tuesday morning, the Assembly Subcommittee No. 6 on Budget Process Oversigth and Program Evaluation hosted state officials from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the California Department of Technology (CDT), as well as the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) to discuss COVID-19 public health guidance and the CalREDIE system.
In opening comments, Subcommittee Chair Assembly Member Phil Ting and Subcommittee Member Vince Fong briefly discussed the role of public health in navigating the ongoing pandemic, as well as the importance of timely and reliable data. Subcommittee member Joaquin Arambula, who also chairs the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Health and Human Services, also provided opening remarks, discussing health and social services supports that have been made available during the pandemic and the role of the state and local jurisdictions in responding to COVID-19.
Acting State Public Health Officer Dr. Erica Pan provided an overview of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework, as well as CDPH’s guidance that has been issued throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. CDPH Chief Deputy Director Ms. Susan Fanelli discussed the state’s CalREDIE system, the types of data collected on communicable disease cases, and the parties involved in accessing and utilizing CalREDIE data. Ms. Fanelli briefly walked the subcommittee through CalREDIE data reporting issues experienced in July 2020, as well as the standalone California COVID-19 Reporting System (CCRS) that is in the process of being established following the CalREDIE data issues.
The California Department of Technology (CDT) provided an overview of oversight and technical assistance activities provided to CDPH in response to the backlog of cases in CalREDIE experienced this summer. CDT detailed project management and data monitoring support provided to CDPH, as well as the procurement process for the CCRS.
During member questions, subcommittee members inquired about electronic data reporting, CalREDIE reporting processes, COVID-19 transmission trends, hospital and health system capacity and metrics, testing activities, school reopening processes and child development, vaccine planning, and communications between state and local governments.
Overview of State Expenditures
The Assembly Subcommittee No. 6 on Budget Process Oversight and Program Evaluation and the Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review convened a joint informational hearing on state expenditures. Representatives from the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) presented state expenditures and administrative cost trends, as well as trends in the state budget. LAO’s presentation focused on the FY 2020-21 enacted budget and referenced the significant budgetary constraints imposed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
During member questions, committee members inquired about a wide array of topics and areas, including health care and public health activities, public safety, emergency preparedness and response, education, climate change, and transportation. Notably, Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula queried the LAO and the Department of Finance (DOF) on state and local categorical expenditures of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), tobacco control funds, and special funds for statewide public health services.