Budget Subcommittees Begin to Ramp Up Work
Subcommittees of both the Senate Budget & Fiscal Review Committee and the Assembly Budget Committee continue to ramp up their activities as part of the 2022 Budget Act, examining budget proposals and investments detailed in the Governor’s January Budget Proposal. Below, we highlight several subcommittee activities from this week:
Assembly Sub. 1 Assesses Health Care Affordability This Week, Health Care Access Next Week
On Monday, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services convened a hearing on investment proposals related to health care affordability and COVID-19 response. The subcommittee received an informational report from representatives of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) regarding early budget action items to support the continued COVID-19 pandemic response statewide.
The subcommittee additionally assessed a variety of programs and budget change proposals within the Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI), including the proposed Office of Health Care Affordability. The subcommittee also received an update on the Medi-Cal Rx initiative, which launched at the beginning of the year.
All items covered during Monday’s hearing were either informational or held open for action at a later date. The agenda from Monday’s Assembly Subcommittee No. 1 hearing is available here. A video recording of the hearing is available here.
Looking ahead, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 will convene another hearing on Monday focused on budget proposals related to health care access. Among the items to be considered are the Newsom Administration’s proposal to sunset the Child Health and Disability Prevention (CHDP) Program, expand full-scope Medi-Cal coverage to all income-eligible residents ages 26-49 regardless of immigration status, and add the HPV vaccine as a covered benefit under the Family PACT Program.
The agenda for next Monday’s Assembly Subcommittee No. 1 hearing is available here.
Senate Sub. 4 Examines OPR Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications
On Wednesday, the Senate Budget & Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration and General Government convened a hearing focused on budget proposals under the jurisdiction of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), Commission on State Mandates, and the State Controller, among others.
Of note, the Subcommittee considered the Newsom Administration’s proposal for $65 million General Fund ongoing to create and implement the Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications (OCPSC) to manage the state’s highest priority public awareness and community outreach campaigns. Per the Newsom Administration, the state has made significant communication and community outreach efforts in recent years, including through the 2020 Census and ongoing communications related to the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health issues.
The Newsom Administration anticipates splitting the funding between resources to stand up the new OCPSC to coordinate and manage statewide communications campaigns and contracting resources to establish and maintain a network of community-based organizations with which to partner on communications efforts in impacted communities throughout the state.
Relatively few details were provided by the Newsom Administration during the hearing, and Subcommittee members raised a series of questions about the role and function of the office, as well as its ability to coordinate communications and programming across state government.