Senate Health and Education Committees Hold Hearing on Proposition 64 – Youth Education, Prevention, Early Intervention & Treatment Account

As CHEAC has outlined in a previous memo, the Youth Education, Prevention and Treatment Account is a subaccount contained within Proposition 64 (Adult Use of Marijuana Act) that provides funding for youth education programs focusing on accurate information, prevention, early intervention, school retention and timely treatment services. Funding for this purpose is directed to the Department of Health Care Services (who may also contract with CDPH and the California Department of Education) and then those Departments may contract with county behavioral health programs with local funding allocations based on demonstrated need. Please recall this particular subaccount is on the third tier of Proposition 64 funding draws meaning that tier one and then tier two funding are prioritized first. To date, no funding has been allocated for third tier Proposition 64 purposes.

On Wednesday, the Senate Education and Senate Health committees convened a joint hearing to discuss implementation and funding for the Youth Education, Prevention, Early Intervention and Treatment Account (YEPEITA). Kicking things off, the Legislative Analyst’s Office provided an overview of the aims of YEPEITA as well as considerations for the Legislature to consider as these programs are implemented. The Department of Finance also briefly presented on this pot of funding, revealing for the first time that the Administration would be funding Tier 3 programs starting in Fiscal Year 2019/20 (based on current Proposition 64 revenue projections this could mean approximately $160 million allocated for YEPEITA next year) and would be releasing their proposal during the May Revision.

A subsequent panel of stakeholders, that included representatives from the Prevention Institute, the Tulare County Office of Education and an addiction specialist, discussed their ideas for how to move forward implementing YEPEITA. Stakeholders mentioned a need for prevention funding, building on existing infrastructure, considering existing models that work, and weaving in equity as the programs are created. One panelist referred committee members to a consensus document created by a variety of Proposition 64 stakeholders (including CBHDA) who have been meeting for the past two years as a good guide for how to move forward.

CDPH, DHCS, and the Department of Education comprised the final panel with the stated intent of the joint committees asking the departments about their plans for implementing these funded programs.  CDPH Director Karen Smith discussed CDPH’s work on the Let’s Talk Cannabis information campaign including conducting local calls and providing consistent messaging materials for use across the state. Dr. Smith also mentioned CDPH’s discussions with local health departments on cannabis issues.  Jennifer Kent, DHCS Director, discussed her departments work on the Drug Medi-Cal program and how they’ve been working with counties to create a SUD infrastructure statewide. Khieem Jackson, Deputy Superintendent for the Department of Education, discussed their work on tobacco and alcohol prevention programs in schools. Both Dr. Pan, Senate Health Committee Chair, and Connie Leyva, Senate Education Committee chair, voiced concerns with the state agencies’ lack of planning over the past two years to implement YEPEITA. Director Kent noted the Administration would lay out their fleshed-out proposal for YEPEITA during the May Revision.