On Wednesday, Democratic legislators released a revised budget proposal for fiscal year 2012-2013 that could bring them closer to an agreement with Gov. Jerry Brown (D), the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports (Yamamura, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 6/13).
Assembly Democrats' original budget proposal -- which they released on Monday -- included about $700 million less in cuts to health and welfare programs than Brown's revised fiscal year 2012-2013 budget plan.
Details of Brown's Revised Budget Plan
Brown's $91.4 billion revised budget plan -- which aims to close California's $15.7 billion deficit -- calls for cutting:
- $1.2 billion from Medi-Cal -- California's Medicaid program -- by merging services for beneficiaries eligible for both Medi-Cal and Medicare and reducing payments to hospitals and nursing homes;
- $946.2 million from CalWORKs -- the state's welfare-to-work program -- by limiting the amount of time most adults could be in the program from four years to two years;
- $225 million from In-Home Supportive Services -- which provides services for the elderly and people who are blind or have disabilities -- by eliminating domestic assistance for beneficiaries in shared living environments and reducing worker payments by 7%; and
- $64 million from Healthy Families, California's Children's Health Insurance Program, by moving children out of the program (California Healthline, 6/13).
Details of Democrats' Revised Budget Plan
Democrats' revised budget plan would replace more than $1 billion of Brown's proposed cuts to programs for low-income residents with a lower state reserve fund and accounting changes ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 6/13).
The proposal also would:
- Accept Brown's Medi-Cal overhaul plans;
- Maintain Brown's proposal to reduce hours to IHSS beneficiaries by 3.6%; and
- Reject Brown's proposed CalWORKs overhaul but seek to reduce program funding by $50 million.
Democrats' plan also would incorporate a compromise tax hike plan supported by Brown that would raise the sales tax and increase taxes on high-income earners (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 6/14). Last month, Brown began submitting voter signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot (California Healthline, 5/30).
At a press conference on Wednesday, Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles) said their new budget plan meets Brown's requirement of being balanced over the next three fiscal years.
They added that the plan would produce a surplus in fiscal year 2015-2016.
Pérez said, "I strongly believe that the differences between the governor's proposal and our proposal are bridgeable," adding, "Frankly, we're not only on the same page as the governor, we're in the same paragraph" ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 6/13).
Lawmakers face a June 15 state constitutional deadline to pass a balanced budget plan.
In 2010, voters passed a law that calls for legislators' pay to be docked every day after that deadline until a budget is approved (California Healthline, 6/13).
On Wednesday, Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" reported on Democrats' revised budget proposal (Russ, "KXJX News," Capital Public Radio, 6/13).