|Budget Issue:||Local assistance for immunization|
|Finding or Recommendation:||Approve $10.5 million of the proposed $18 million General Fund in funding for local assistance for immunization.|
Proposal. The Governor’s budget proposes to fund local assistance for immunization programs in the amount of $18 million General Fund in the budget year. This funding was suspended in 2009-10 on a one-time basis. The funding is allocated to several projects as follows: (1) $4 million in collaborative projects that seek to improve immunization rates among underserved children ages 0-24 months, (2) $3.5 million in grants to community clinics to expand immunization services for at-risk patients, (3) $3.2 million for childhood immunization registries (computerized databases of immunization records), and (4) $7.3 million in to purchase vaccines for local health departments.
Analyst’s Comment. We note that federal funding for community clinics will increase significantly beginning in October 2010 as a result of the new federal health care law (by an estimated $1.4 billion over five years). Additionally, we note that the funding for collaborative projects could be funded by local First 5 commissions since it serves children under age 3.
Analyst’s Recommendation. Without prejudice to the public health merits of the program, we recommend approving $10.5 million of the proposed $18 million in funding for local assistance for immunization, and eliminating the $3.5 million in grants to community clinics and $4 million in collaborative projects in light of the state’s fiscal crisis.