Gov. Jerry Brown on June 27 signed enabling legislation for most of the 2012-13 state budget – but Assembly Bill 1629 skilled-nursing providers will have to wait until the Legislature returns Aug. 6 from its summer recess for action on separate legislation embodying CAHF’s successful efforts to mitigate current reimbursement cuts while also improving caregivers’ outlook for the future.
CAHF’s agreement with the administration, worked out through seven months of advocacy, includes:
- A two-year extension of the quality-assurance fee and the Assembly Bill 1629 sunset date, from July 31, 2013, to July 31, 2015. The compromise continues to provide for an increase in the 2012-13 QAF with funds diverted to the general fund.
- No reduction in current base rates for 2012-13
- Increases in the AB 1629 global budget cap of 3 percent in 2013-14 and 3 percent in 2014-15.
The trailer bills signed by Brown include $91.5 billion in general-fund spending and a total of $142.6 billion when dedicated funds and bond money are included, while cutting $8 billion from government to close a $15.7-billion deficit and build a reserve of nearly $1 billion. But the administration acknowledged that the budget assumes voter approval of the Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act, Brown’s initiative on the November ballot.
The initiative would enact temporary increases on high-income earners and increase the state sales tax by one-quarter of 1 cent for four years. Six billion dollars in additional cuts to education and public safety will be triggered if the initiative fails.
“Our state budget problem was built up over a decade, and it won’t be fixed overnight,” Brown said.