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The 2021-22 Budget: Analysis of the Governor’s Medi-Cal Telehealth Proposal

May 13, 2021 - This budget series post provides an overview of the Governor’s January budget proposal for an ongoing, post-pandemic Medi-Cal telehealth policy; an assessment of the Governor’s proposal; and issues for legislative consideration.

Report

What Can We Learn From How the State Responded to the Last Major Drought?

May 13, 2021 - For the second consecutive year, the state is experiencing extremely low rates of precipitation. As we prepare for what could be an extended period of dry conditions, it is helpful to review how the state responded to the last major drought. Such information can inform—and thereby potentially improve—the state’s current and ongoing response to developing conditions. In this report, we summarize the major activities, spending, and policy actions undertaken by the state to respond to the severe drought that occurred from 2012 through 2016. We also describe current conditions, and highlight some key lessons the Legislature can learn from previous efforts to help guide its response to the emerging drought.

Hearing Handout

Overview of Criminal Fine and Fee System

May 13, 2021 - Presented to: Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 5 on Corrections, Public Safety, Judiciary, Labor and Transportation Hon. María Elena Durazo, Chair

Hearing Handout

Overview of State Funding and Audit of CDAA

May 13, 2021 - Senate Budget Subcommittee No 5. on Corrections, Public Safety, Judiciary, Labor and Transportation

Report

An Initial Look at Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Local Government Fiscal Condition

May 12, 2021 - In this analysis we examine what is known about the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on local governments’ fiscal condition.

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Impact of COVID-19 on Health Care Access

May 7, 2021 - This post describes how coronavirus disease 2019 has affected access to health care in California through the earliest months of 2021. Contrary to expectations in light of the high level of pandemic-induced job losses, we find that health care coverage has either remained steady or potentially increased during the pandemic. We explore reasons why health care coverage trends have defied expectations. However, health care employment and utilization both declined significantly, particularly in the early months of the pandemic. Although access to care is trending toward pre-pandemic levels, continued monitoring of these trends is warranted. We provide several policy options that the Legislature could consider for sustaining and improving access to care, such as funding or making policy changes to address a deficit in children’s preventive services that has arisen among Medi-Cal-enrolled children during the pandemic.

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COVID-19: American Rescue Plan’s Major Health-Related Funding Provisions

May 6, 2021 - On March 11, 2021, the President signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP Act)—a $1.9 trillion coronavirus disease 2019 relief package. This post highlights the health-related provisions of the ARP Act that provide significant funding directly to state/local health care and public health agencies, rural hospitals, home- and community-based services programs, subsidized individual market health coverage programs, and public behavioral health services. Where possible, based on currently available information, we provide an estimate of the funding allocations to California governments and other entities in the state. While this post reflects our best understanding of the high-level content and implications of this legislation as of late April, we will update the post as new information and clarifications become available.

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Estimated Cost of Expanding Full-Scope Medi-Cal Coverage to All Otherwise-Eligible Californians Regardless of Immigration Status

May 5, 2021 - This budget and policy post responds to legislative requests for our office to estimate the costs of expanding comprehensive Medi-Cal coverage to all otherwise eligible Californians regardless of their immigration status. We estimate that nearly one million undocumented immigrants would gain full coverage under this expansion. Assuming a January 1, 2022 implementation, we estimate that the additional cost of expansion would be $790 million General Fund ($870 million total funds) in 2021-22. On an ongoing basis, we estimate the additional cost of the expansion would be $2.1 billion General Fund (nearly $2.4 billion total funds). Both our caseload and cost estimates are subject to significant uncertainty and rest on a number of key assumptions. Moreover, our ongoing estimates would be expected to change over time with medical inflation and changes in caseload and utilization.

Hearing Handout

How Did the State Respond to the Last Major Drought?

May 5, 2021 - Presented to: Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife Hon. Eduardo Garcia, Chair

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A Framework for Allocating Federal Recovery Funds

May 4, 2021 - In the coming months, the Legislature will face important decisions over how to use California’s share of the state fiscal recovery funds included in the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Estimated at approximately $26 billion, the recovery funds should go a long way toward covering the state’s direct and indirect costs arising from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Moreover, beyond a relatively broad set of pandemic-related parameters, the ARP likely provides states with considerable flexibility over how to allocate the funds, presenting the Legislature with a unique opportunity. In this post, we lay out some guiding principles for the Legislature to consider as it formulates a plan for using the fiscal recovery funds.

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Third Round of Federal Higher Education Relief Funding

May 3, 2021 - The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is the third piece of federal legislation that provides substantial COVID-19 relief funding directly to colleges and universities. This post recaps the key elements of the first two rounds of relief funding, then describes the key elements of this third round.

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Overview of Federal Relief for K-12 Education and Child Care

April 29, 2021 - Since March 2020, the federal government has passed three relief packages that assist K-12 schools and child care providers in their response to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. This post provides a brief summary of how the three federal relief packages affect K-12 education and child care and describes how the state has used these federal funds, as of April 2021.

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The 2021-22 Budget: The Governor’s Proposition 2 Proposals

April 26, 2021 - This post provides an overview of the Governor’s proposals related to Proposition 2 (2014). We provide background on how the measure works, and then summarize and comment on the Governor’s Proposition 2 reserve and debt payment proposals.

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Early Budget Actions to Support In-Person K-12 Instruction and Address Learning Loss

April 23, 2021 - On March 5, 2021, the Governor signed Chapter 10 (AB 86, Committee on Budget), which provides additional one-time Proposition 98 funding to schools for providing in-person instruction and addressing student learning loss due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. This post describes the major components of the legislation.

Report

The State Appropriations Limit

April 21, 2021 - This report: (1) describes how appropriations limits work for the state, school districts, and local governments in California; (2) explains why the limit is a constraint for state government; and (3) concludes with a variety of short- and long-term policy options—both of which we think the Legislature will need to take—in response to the issue.