Final Budget Act Heads to Governor, Commitment Secured for Public Health Funding

After two weeks of extended negotiations between legislative leaders and the Newsom Administration, the California State Senate and Assembly on Monday took action on the state’s FY 2021-22 Budget. Recall, the Legislature earlier in June passed its own version of the state budget to meet the June 15 constitutional deadline while negotiations with the Administration continued. That bill, AB 128, notably included significant investments for public health, including the California Can’t Wait Coalition’s request for $200 million ongoing for local health department infrastructure and workforce.

Late last week, with little time remaining before the start of the new fiscal year, the Legislature put into print the “Budget Bill Jr.” (SB 129), representing the spending plan agreement reached between legislative leaders and the Newsom Administration. No “official announcement” has been released by either party acknowledging a budget deal, and negotiations on a few high-profile subjects, including childcare, drought, and homelessness, remain outstanding.

SB 129 includes no funding in FY 2021-22 for local health department infrastructure and workforce. However, the Newsom Administration has committed to a minimum of $300 million annually beginning in FY 2022-23 to address preventable death and disease, reduce health disparities, and support an agile public health workforce statewide.

This amount is intended to include ongoing funding to local health departments as requested by the California Can’t Wait Coalition. A statement from the California Can’t Wait Coalition on the $300 million budget commitment is available here.

The Senate and Assembly on Monday heard and voted on SB 129, as well as the first round of budget trailer bills that include additional funding and implementation details on various investments. The budget measures were advanced to the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom, and SB 129 currently awaits the Governor’s signature, which is anticipated to occur within the coming days.

CHEAC has issued a memo summarizing key investments included in the state’s FY 2021-22 budget agreement, available here.

While Governor Newsom has already acted upon a handful of budget measures, including an extension of the state’s eviction moratorium, the Legislature and Newsom Administration are anticipated to continue work on budget trailer bills over the coming weeks. CHEAC will continue to keep its Members apprised of relevant budget developments, including on funding for local health department infrastructure and workforce.