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The 2021-22 Budget: Educator Workforce Proposals

February 19, 2021 - In this post, we analyze the Governor’s proposals to address teacher shortages, as well as his proposals to provide additional professional development for school staff. For each, we provide background, describe the Governor’s proposals, assess these proposals, and offer associated recommendations.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Behavioral Health: Continuum Infrastructure Funding Proposal

February 17, 2021 - This post analyzes the Governor’s proposal in the Department of Health Care Services to provide $750 million General Fund—on a one-time basis—in competitive grants to counties to acquire or renovate facilities for community behavioral health services.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Behavioral Health: Medi-Cal Student Services Funding Proposal

February 17, 2021 - This post analyzes the Governor’s proposal in the Department of Health Care Services to provide $200 million General Fund ($400 million total funds) one time to provide incentive payments to Medi-Cal managed care plans to increase the number of students receiving behavioral health services.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Funding for Debt Collector Licensing and Regulation

February 17, 2021 - This publication provides our analysis of the Governor’s 2021-22 January budget proposal related to a debt collector licensing and regulation program created by Chapter 163 of 2020 (SB 908,Wieckowski) within the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Medi-Cal Enterprise System Modernization Effort

February 17, 2021 - This post analyzes, and provides recommendations to the Legislature on, the 2021-22 Governor’s Budget proposal for the Department of Health Care Services to continue the replacement of several Medi-Cal information technology systems and to plan the modernization of the remaining systems under a new effort called the Medi-Cal Enterprise System Modernization.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Analysis of CalAIM Financing Issues

February 16, 2021 - The California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) proposal is a set of reforms to expand, transform, and streamline Medi-Cal service delivery and financing. This post—the second in a series assessing different aspects of the Governor’s proposal—analyzes CalAIM financing issues, including both the Governor’s funding plan for CalAIM as well as CalAIM’s policy changes related to Medi-Cal financing.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Analysis of the Medi-Cal Budget

February 16, 2021 - This post analyzes the major adjustments to the Medi-Cal budget in 2020-21 and 2021-22, with a focus on the technical adjustments such as the administration’s caseload estimates. We will further analyze the major discretionary Medi-Cal proposals in separate publications and communications to the Legislature.

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The 2021-22 Budget: School Mental Health

February 12, 2021 - In this post, we provide background on school-based mental health services, describe the Governor’s proposals aimed at increasing such services, provide our assessments of the proposals, and offer associated recommendations.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Community Schools

February 12, 2021 - In his January budget, the Governor proposes to allocate $265 million to support the establishment of new, and the expansion of existing, community schools. In this post, we provide background on community schools and funding allocated in the current year to support expansion of existing community schools, describe the Governor’s proposal, assess the proposal, and describe our recommendations to the Legislature.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Analysis of Child Welfare Proposals

February 11, 2021 - In this analysis of the Governor’s 2021-22 budget proposal for child welfare programs, we: (1) provide program background; (2) outline the Governor’s proposed budget for child welfare services and foster care programs; and (3) provide key questions and issues for the Legislature to consider related to the administration’s proposals for continued pandemic response, implementation of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, and ongoing implementation of Continuum of Care Reform.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Child Care Proposals

February 11, 2021 - This post analyzes the Governor’s proposal to transition state administration of child care programs. We further provide options the Legislature could consider to support child care programs during the pandemic.

Correction (2/18/2021): A previous version of this post stated DSS released a draft of the transition plan. This version is corrected to state DSS released a transition plan guide.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Creating a New Department of Better Jobs and Higher Wages

February 10, 2021 - The Governor’s budget for 2021-22 proposes to consolidate state workforce programs under a new Department of Better Jobs and Higher Wages. The new department would include portions of the Employment Development Department, the California Workforce Development Board, and the Department of Industrial Relations. In our view, the functions of the new department appear similar to the functions of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, raising questions about why a new department is needed to integrate these programs. Furthermore, reorganizing a portion of the Employment Development Department during the pandemic poses potentially serious risks to the state's efforts to eliminate the growing backlog of unemployment insurance claims that have not been distributed to workers.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Interest Payment on Federal Unemployment Insurance Loan

February 10, 2021 - The 2021-22 Governor’s Budget proposes $555 million General Fund to make the first interest payment on federal loans the state received to pay unemployment insurance (UI) benefits after the UI fund became insolvent during the pandemic. Our office’s estimate of the upcoming interest payment is much lower—about $260 million. This lower estimate reflects (1) more plausible, up-to-date economic projections and (2) recent federal action to waive a portion of accrued interest for 2021. We recommend the Legislature adopt this lower placeholder amount. In addition, we recommend the Legislature take advantage of a provision of federal law that allows states to defer 75 percent of their UI loan interest payments during economic downturns. If the state chooses to partially defer its interest payment, we estimate the 2021-22 UI loan interest payment would total roughly $65 million.

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The 2021-22 Budget: CalAIM: The Overarching Issues

February 9, 2021 - The California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) proposal is a set of reforms to expand, transform, and streamline Medi-Cal service delivery and financing. This post—the first in a series assessing different aspects of the Governor’s proposal—provides a brief overview of CalAIM, summarizes key changes from last year’s withdrawn proposal, and analyzes overarching issues related to CalAIM.

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The 2021-22 Budget: California Department of Technology

February 8, 2021 - This post discusses 2021-22 Governor’s Budget proposals for the California Department of Technology to use General Fund to pay the costs of some existing information security programs and services, and to create new programs and services that are intended to improve the delivery of critical state services using information technology (IT) systems and the stability of the state’s legacy IT infrastructure.