Governor’s May Revision of the Proposed Budget for 2016-17
The following are the highlights that particularly affect IHSS and SSI/SSP recipients. For the Summary and Full Budget click here.
The May Revision includes total funding of $141 billion ($33 billion General Fund and $108 billion other funds) for all programs overseen by this Agency, a decrease of $747 million General Fund compared to the Governor’s Budget.
SSI/SSP – Decreases of $19.4 million in 2015‑16 and $44 million in 2016‑17 to reflect updated caseload and average cost per case projections. The May Revision continues to reflect a cost‑of‑living increase, effective January 1, 2017, to the SSP portion of the SSI/SSP grant equivalent to the increase in the California Necessities Index, which is 2.76 percent.
Managed Care Organization Financing – The proposal authorized a tax on the enrollment of Medi‑Cal managed care plans and commercial health plans. This reduces General Fund spending in the Medi‑Cal program by approximately $1.1 billion in the budget year, and more than $1.7 billion in 2017‑18 and 2018‑19. It also included reforms that reduce taxes paid by the Health Plan industry.
The May Revision assumes a decrease in General Fund revenue of $300 million in the budget year to account for a reduction in insurance tax and corporation tax revenue from affected health plans.
Restoration of IHSS 7% Percent Across‑the‑Board Reduction – The Governor’s Budget proposed funding this restoration using proceeds from the managed care organization tax. The restoration shall remain in effect until June 30, 2019, when the tax is scheduled to expire.
The revision increases $265.8 million General Fund to reflect restoration of the 7‑percent reduction to IHSS.
IHSS Overtime Exemptions – Increases of $3.6 million General Fund in 2015‑16 and $22.3 million General Fund in 2016‑17 to reflect costs associated with exempting providers who meet specified criteria from IHSS overtime restrictions.
Exemptions will be available for live‑in family care providers who, as of January 31, 2016, reside in the home of two or more disabled minor or adult children or grandchildren for whom they provide services.
A second type of exemption will be considered for recipients with extraordinary circumstances and granted on a case‑by‑case basis. Under either exemption, the maximum number of hours a provider may work cannot exceed 360 hours of 360 per month.
IHSS Compliance with Fair Labor Standards Act – A decrease of $65.8 million General Fund in 2015‑16 primarily resulting from the revised implementation
schedule for the payment of overtime, travel and medical accompaniment to IHSS providers to comply with federal Fair Labor Standards Act rules and the provisions of SB855.
Brief Overview of the Governor’s Proposed Budget for 2016-2017
The governor released his budget proposal for 2016-2017 last week. Here are a few highlights from his proposal that particularly affect IHSS and SSI/SSP recipients*.
The Governor’s budget proposes to continue to fund the 7% across-the-board reduction in IHSS hours (passed in 2013) with proceeds from a revised managed care organization (MCO) tax effective July 1, 2016. The Governor will be pushing hard for the passage of this revised tax. Passage will require Republication votes in both the Assembly and the Senate by the end of January. Finally, the budget assumes the revised MCO tax is in place for 3 years starting in 2016-2017.
The governor’s proposal is to:
1. Pass through the federal COLA (estimated at 1.7%) for the SSI portion of grants effective 1/1/17. (No cost to the state.); and
2. Provide a state COLA (estimated at 2.96%) to the SSP portion of grants effective 1/1/17. (Funded with General Fund dollars.)
Combined, these two changes would boost the maximum monthly grants for independent living, aged/disabled individuals by $17.63 per month (with $4.63 of this due to the SSP increase) and for similarly situated couples by $30.73 per month (with $11.73 of this due to the SSP increase).
From the LA Times, Jan. 7: “Advocates for the poor cheered the governor’s proposed increases to cash aid for the aged, blind and disabled—the first time such grants would go up in ten years. ‘This will be a huge help to the 1.3 million people with disabilities and seniors around the state who are struggling to pay the rent and get enough food to eat,’ said Frank Tamborello, executive director of Hunger Action LA, adding that the increases should be even greater to account for cost of living.” T o read full article, click here.