On Wednesday, lawmakers are scheduled to vote on nearly two dozen budget-related bills before the midnight deadline for Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to sign a fiscal year 2012-2013 spending plan, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports (Lin, AP/Sacramento Bee, 6/27).
Background on Budget Negotiations
On June 15, lawmakers sent the primary budget bill (AB 1464) to Brown, but they did not vote on most of the trailer bills that include proposals on cutting programs and raising revenue because they had not yet reached a final budget deal with Brown (California Healthline, 6/21).
Last week, Democrats and Brown announced a FY 2012-2013 budget deal.
Details of Budget Deal
The budget deal would:
- Eliminate Healthy Families -- California's Children's Health Insurance Program -- and move the 880,000 children enrolled in the program to Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program;
- Reduce state child care assistance by 8.7%, which would reduce the number of slots available to low-income families by 10,600;
- Reduce In-Home Supportive Services workers' hours by 3.6%;
- Phase in a two-year time limit for new beneficiaries to find work under CalWORKs, the state's welfare-to-work program; and
- Require higher graduation rates for colleges and universities to qualify for state college aid and reduce financial aid to college students.
The budget deal relies on voters approving a compromise tax hike initiative developed by Brown and supporters of the "Millionaires Tax" (California Healthline, 6/22).
Wednesday marks the 12-day deadline from when Brown received the main budget legislation. He must sign or veto the budget plan by the end of the day.
On Tuesday, Senate Budget Committee Chair Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) said that lawmakers planned to work all of Wednesday to pass the remaining bills (AP/Sacramento Bee, 6/27).
One of the trailer bills (AB 1496) slated for consideration Wednesday would create a state board to negotiate wages for IHSS workers. IHSS provides services for the elderly and people who are blind or have disabilities.
In addition, the bill would freeze counties' share of IHSS wages at the current level and only allow for increases tied to inflation. State and federal officials would be responsible for wage increases beyond inflation in future years (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 6/27).