Health and Human Services

Policy Snapshots

Revisiting the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Insolvency September 30, 2016

Due to a variety of factors, the state's UI trust fund exhausted its reserves in 2009, requiring the state to take on loans to continue the payment of benefits to unemployed workers. In this series of four online posts, we (1) examine the current condition of the UI trust fund and how it may change in the near future, (2) provide context on who pays UI taxes and how much they pay, (3) assess the extent to which the UI trust fund is prepared for the next economic downturn, and (4) look at potential steps the Legislature could take should it wish to increase reserves in the trust fund as a means to address the fiscal impacts of the next economic downturn.

The 2016-17 Budget: Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act Resources March 25, 2016

This post addresses the Governor’s 2016 17 budget proposal related to the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). The post provides background on PAGA, describes and assesses the Governor’s proposal, and outlines our recommendations for the Legislature’s consideration. Specifically, we recommend that the Legislature approve requested funding and positions and adopt portions of proposed trailer bill language that require additional information on PAGA proceedings be provided to the Labor and Workforce Development Agency. We recommend that the Legislature reject remaining proposed trailer bill language in favor of consideration in a separate policy bill process.

The 2016-17 Budget: Child Welfare Services–New System February 25, 2016

In this post, we provide a brief description of the CWS-NS information technology project; discuss recent changes to the project’s implementation approach; describe the Governor’s 2016-17 budget proposal for expenditure authority and various staff changes to assist with planning and procurement activities and to prepare for the design, development, and implementation phase of the project; and recommend approval of the Governor’s budget proposal, with our recommended updates to a reporting requirement.

Section 1115 Waiver Renewal: Key Medi-Cal Financing Issues Remain Outstanding October 13, 2015

Earlier this year, California submitted a proposal to renew its Section 1115 waiver, which is due to expire at the end of October. The state is currently negotiating with the federal government over the terms and conditions of this waiver renewal. In this post, we examine key issues and concerns related to the availability of federal funding for California’s proposal. The post provides a primer on how Section 1115 waivers are generally financed, an overview of California’s proposal, and a discussion of the challenges the proposal faces within that financing structure.

Upcoming Changes in Medi-Cal Create Fiscal and Policy Uncertainty October 9, 2015

This is the first in a series of policy posts on upcoming changes in Medi-Cal and the fiscal and policy uncertainty the changes create. In this post, we briefly highlight four upcoming major changes: (1) the renewal of the state’s Section 1115 waiver, (2) proposed modifications to the federal government’s regulations for Medicaid managed care plans, (3) the phase-in of state’s share of cost for the Affordable Care Act’s optional expansion population, and (4) the need to restructure the managed care organization tax to meet federal requirements. In the coming weeks and months, we will provide more detail and updates on these changes and their potential implications for the Medi-Cal program and the state’s budget in future policy posts similar to this one and in budget analyses.

The MCO Tax: A Flat Versus Tiered Structure July 20, 2015

We compare two approaches to a restructured managed care organization (MCO) tax—the Governor’s tiered proposal versus a purely flat enrollment-based tax—in terms of their stability as a revenue source and overall financial burden placed on MCOs.