The 8% Passes First Hurdle

May 16, 2019

Senate Budget Sub#3 Closes with a BANG!

 

The Senate Budget Subcommittee #3 (Senators Richard Pan (chair), Melissa Hurtado, and Jeff Stone) closed out its business today with a rollicking affirmation of support for DD providers. As part of the official agenda, the three-person subcommittee approved:

 

  • The Governor’s rate adjustment for selected services to start January 1, 2020, with no sunset.
  • Permanent repeal of the Uniform Holiday Schedule and half-day billing.
  • Requirement of a plan for system-wide rate reform by January 10, 2020 and implementation of the plan starting no later than January 2021.

 

And when the agenda was completed, Senators Stone and Hurtado made a motion to provide an 8% rate increase for all DD services not raised to that level by the Governor’s proposal. Then all three Senators voted for it!

 

This is an important first step in a process that will next involve votes by Assembly Budget Subcommittee #1. Unless the same proposal is approved there, there will be negotiation in the Budget Conference Committee and among leaders of the Senate and Assembly and the Governor.

 

This is an excellent time to call or e-mail your Senator and thank them for their support of the 8% and permanent elimination of the Uniform Holiday Schedule and Half-Day Billing – EVEN IF you don’t know s/he did! You can find the phone number or address here: http://www.legislature.ca.gov/your_legislator.html

 

If you’d like to watch the votes, go to:

http://calchannel.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=7&clip_id=6251

  • The DDS section starts at 58:00.
  • The addition of the 8% starts at 1:04:00.

 

Here’s a complete list of the items approved for the DDS budget.

 

  • Headquarters restructuring and reorganization, $8.1 million ($6.5 million General Fund)
  • Federal claims reimbursement project (software development and staff), $3.2 million ($3 million GF)
  • Safety net facilities and crisis services, $11.7 million ($7.3 million GF) and trailer bill language from Disability Rights California
  • HCBS Final Rule site assessments, $3 million ($1.8 million GF) to hire a contractor to help with the assessment process and trailer bill language to ensure that California implements the HCBS Rule consistent with federal requirements
  • Foster youth trauma-informed system of care, $158,000 ($134,000 GF) and additional funding in the following two years
  • Crisis homes for children, $4.5 million for development of three homes and trailer bill language to allow children in crisis to be placed in crisis homes
  • Specialized caseload ratios for regional centers, $3.8 million ($2.6 million GF) to establish 1:25 caseloads for consumers with complex need
  • May Revision adjustment, $736.5 million ($534.3 million GF) raising the DDS budget to $8.2 billion ($5 billion GF). This increase covers:

Population and staffing adjustment

Early Start co-payments

Family Home Agency oversight

Specialized home monitors

Caseload and utilization adjustment

Provider rate adjustment (the Governor’s recommendation for some

residential CCF homes, Supported Living Services, Supported

Employment, Supplemental Services including Personal Assistant,

Transportation Assistant, and Family Home Agencies to begin January

2020) with no sunset

Uniform Holiday Schedule permanent repeal

Best Buddies funding

  • Regional center transparency and accountability, new trailer bill language with new reporting and transparency requirements
  • Enhanced behavioral supports homes sunset extension, extends time for development of Enhanced Behavioral Support Homes to January 1, 2021
  • Vendor rate reform, a Senate response to stakeholder testimony that:

Sets up trailer bill language that requires DDS to develop a plan to

implement the rate study by January 10, 2020 and requires

implementation start by January 2021

Repeals the half-day billing policy

Sets up trailer bill language allowing vendors in areas with local

minimum wages to access rate adjustments associated with state

minimum wage increases

Permanently repeals the Uniform Holiday Schedule

Restores social recreation and camp services

Approves the Governor’s provider rate adjustment but eliminates sunset

  • Codify DDS quarterly briefings, requires DDS to update the Legislature on rate reform, safety net services, and disparities

8% rate increase, institutes an 8% rate increase July 1, 2019, for all programs that don’t receive at least an 8% increase under the Governor’s targeted rate increase proposal