Budget Subcommittees Review Health Care, Workforce, and Food Insecurity Investment Proposals
Budget Subcommittees of both the California State Senate and Assembly this week maintained busy schedules, considering a series of investment proposals from the Newsom Administration in areas of health care, health care workforce, food insecurity, and other notable areas. Below, we highlight relevant hearings.
Senate Sub. 3 Considers Investments for DHCS
On Thursday, the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 3 on Health and Human Services convened a hearing to consider proposed investments included in the Governor’s January Budget related to health care coverage and affordability. Specifically, the subcommittee reviewed expenditures under the authority of the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), including the implementation of California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) and significant behavioral health-related investments and programs.
Of note to CHEAC Members, the Subcommittee considered the Newsom Administration’s proposal to expand full-scope Medi-Cal coverage to all income-eligible adults regardless of immigration status. The Subcommittee expressed support for the proposal but raised questions around the proposed implementation timeline of the expansion, currently no sooner than January 1, 2024.
The Subcommittee additionally considered the Administration’s proposal to sunset the Child Health and Disability Prevention (CHDP) Program. CHEAC submitted a letter to the Subcommittee outlining concerns with the proposal relative to potential impacts on child populations and local health department operations of the program. Last, the Subcommittee also considered the Administration’s proposal to include coverage of the HPV vaccine within the Family PACT Program.
Assembly Sub. 4 Reviews Administration’s Health Care Workforce Proposals
The Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration convened a hearing on Tuesday to review a series of employment-related investment proposals from the Newsom Administration. Specifically, the Subcommittee received a presentation from the Administration on its $1.7 billion in health care workforce proposals to recruit, train, hire, and advance an ethnically and culturally inclusive health and human services workforce statewide.
Proposals considered as part of the health care workforce investments included High Road Training Partnerships for Health and Human Services, the Health Care Workforce Advancement Program, and targeted emergency medical technician training.
The California Can’t Wait Coalition, led by CHEAC, submitted a letter and provided public comment to the Subcommittee elevating additional needs for the state’s public health workforce. The Coalition urged the Legislature to consider supporting workforce training and pipeline investments included in the Coalition’s Public Health Equity and Readiness Opportunity (HERO) Initiative. The HERO Initiative seeks one-time investments totaling nearly $190 million to provide recruitment and retention stipends, waive public health nurse certification fees, and bolster a number of existing fellowship and training programs.
The health care workforce item was held open by the Subcommittee on Tuesday. The Subcommittee notes that given the crossover of the items with other Budget Subcommittees, a joint subcommittee hearing may be convened to consider all health and human services workforce investment proposals from the Newsom Administration.
Assembly Sub. 1 Assesses Food Insecurity Proposals
On Wednesday, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services convened a hearing to assess the Governor’s January Budget proposals related to antipoverty and safety net programs. The majority of budget proposals considered by the Subcommittee fell within the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), including those related to food assistance and housing and homelessness.
Of interest, the Subcommittee assessed budget proposals for the CalFresh program, as well as the proposed $50 million one-time investment for food banks to mitigate increases in demand among food-insecure populations and expansion of the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) for all California residents 55 and older regardless of immigration status.