Budget Conference Committee Strikes Deal, Legislature Passes 2019-20 Budget Act

This past week was filled with a flurry of activity aimed at reaching a budget agreement and passing the 2019-20 budget by the June 15 constitutional deadline.

Budget Conference Committee. On Sunday evening, the Budget Conference Committee completed their work to reconcile differences between the Senate and Assembly budget plans. CHEAC captured key actions taken by the Conference Committee this chart. Also, of interest, the Conference Committee deferred action on the renaming and refocusing of the Council on Health Care Delivery Systems approved in the 2018 Budget Act to the Healthy California for All Commission. Under the Governor’s proposal, the focus of the commission would be shifted to evaluating options to transition into a single-payer health care financing system. While originally approved by the Senate, the Assembly did not take action.

Legislature Passes the 2019 Budget Act. Yesterday, the Legislature passed the 2019-20 budget bill (AB 74), a $214.8 billion expenditure plan for the upcoming fiscal year. However, with the devil in the details, the Legislature did not act on any accompanying budget trailer bills. In fact, several trailer bills – such as the Health Omnibus trailer bill – are not yet in print. The Legislature will begin voting on trailer bills as early as next week, once bills meet the 72-hour in-print rule.

We are pleased that the final budget agreement includes several key public health investments, including $40 million one-time General Fund for infectious diseases, increased funding for the Black Infant Health Program and California Home Visiting Program, and funding to address STDs, HIV, and Hepatitis C. In addition, the budget agreement protects local health department funding at risk earlier in the budget year through the proposed increase to AB 85 diversions.

CHEAC provides a high-level summary of the final budget agreement in our CHEAC Budget Memo. As additional details become available through budget trailer bill actions, CHEAC will provide updates.