California Budget

Facts about Aging in California

  • Over 7.6 million Californians are age 60 or older. By 2030 the number is projected to increase to 10.8 million.
  • Today, 21% of Californians age 65+ live in poverty (per the federal supplemental poverty measure). But economic insecurity is much deeper: 40% of older Californians live below the EESSI – a measure of basic living costs.
  • 66% of impoverished older Californians are women.
  • By 2050, over 25 percent of all Californians will be age 60 or older.

A Mandate for Investment

Over the last 10 years, California dismantled and starved the network of community-based programs that make up much of its safety net for seniors and people with disabilities. This pattern of disinvestment has left the state unprepared to address the needs of its aging population.  Worse, it is now harming the state-wide infrastructure of programs and services that represent an ideal foundation on which to build capacity and innovation.

Will Governor Newsom and state legislators have the foresight to invest in the services that help seniors maintain health and economic stability? The state’s budget policies over the next two years will be crucial in deciding the future for our aging state.

Recent Developments

May 16, 2019 – The Governor’s May Revise Budget, released on May 9, reflects a staggeringly large surplus but completely ignores the urgent need to shore up and build capacity in the aging services ecosystem.  

The disconnect is glaring. After his eloquent speech about a graying California that called for a Master Plan for Aging, Governor Newsom hasn’t even make a cost of living adjustment in his budget for Older Californians Act services. The Governor’s budget perpetuates 11 years of neglect of Older Californians Act programs, proposing only $36.7 million in state funding for programs in the Department of Aging. That’s less than half of the state’s funding in FY 07/08 when adjusted for inflation.

Aging services are the bedrock of local support for older people in communities all over the state. They are lifelines for the older people they serve. They form the foundation that any master plan would be built upon.  

We thought that Governor Newsom understood the pressing need to invest in the aging services that can improve life and health outcomes for older Californians. Clearly, he doesn’t.

So now our hope rides on moving our $45 million Budget Request – carried by Assemblymember Kansen Chu – out of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee. With Subcommittee approval, it has a chance of moving through the Assembly to the Conference Committee, and into the final budget for the Governor’s signature.

Click here to see our Detailed Budget Request. Click here to see our Budget Request Chart.

Click here to go to the Governor’s budget for the Department of Aging. For a deep analysis of the entire budget, click here to check out the California Budget and Policy Center’s report.

January 25, 2019 – Governor Newsom released his inaugural budget proposal on January 10. It is bold, projecting a $21.4 billion surplus and proposing a range of significant expansions – most notably in education, health, and housing – that will support low- and middle-income Californians who are struggling to make ends meet.  

Many of the proposals will benefit older adults, including doubling the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, expanding Medi-Cal, helping middle-income Californians better afford premiums in Covered California and moving the individual insurance market closer to universal coverage, tackling the rising cost of prescription drugs, and proffering a mix of policies and investments to address housing needs and homelessness.

In spite of these positive proposals, the budget from our new Governor is tremendously disappointing. It is silent on the deepening poverty of older Californians, their growing numbers, and the urgent need to build capacity and shore up a faltering aging services ecosystem. It perpetuates policy makers’ chronic neglect of Older Californians Act programs, proposing flat funding for programs in the Department of Aging; a course that amounts to yet another reduction as the cost of doing business rises.  

We thought that Governor Newsom understood the pressing need to invest in the aging services that can improve life and health outcomes for older Californians. Clearly, he doesn’t…So it’s critical that we engage him. Click here to send the Governor an email.

Click here (*updated link*) to read SSC’s summary of how the Governor’s proposal that could directly impact seniors and senior services in Alameda County. For a deeper analysis of the entire budget, click here to check out the California Budget and Policy Center’s report.

July 11, 2018 – Governor Brown signed California’s 2018/19 budget at the end of June. This final budget of the Governor’s last term adopts his tell-tale conservative economic projection for the state’s revenues. It uses much of the surplus to prioritize building the state’s reserves, making some investments in education, the safety net, housing and the 2010 census.  

The budget also delivers two milestones in addressing economic security for older Californians. It repeals a decades-old state law that made SSI/SSP recipients ineligible for CalFresh benefits, thus allowing an estimated 375,000 people to apply for CalFresh beginning in June 2019. It extends California’s Earned Income Tax Credit to low-earning older adults who are currently ineligible. In addition, it takes a step towards better planning for our state’s aging population with a LTSS data collection project.

In spite of these milestones, the budget leaves us disappointed and alarmed. This year compelling funding proposals – for MSSP, Senior Nutrition, and ending the Medi-Cal senior penalty – survived the lengthy budget committee process, only to be negotiated away by a Conference Committee that didn’t follow precedent.  

In light of the deepening poverty of older Californians, their growing numbers, and the urgent need to build capacity and shore up a faltering aging services ecosystem, we are shocked that our elected officials failed to carry these urgent requests across the finish line. We will enter the next budget season with an ever more pressing need to invest in the aging services that can improve life and health outcomes for older Californians.

Click here for SSC’s summary on how the new budget will impact seniors and senior services in Alameda County.

April 6, 2018 – The Senior Services Coalition is at the state capitol a lot lately, urging legislators to end years of flat funding for aging services.  We are pushing for increased state investment in all programs in the Department of Aging in Fiscal 18-19, and commitments to maintain the new baselines going forward.

At the same time, we are supporting a number of formal budget requests that are being considered by the Senate and Assembly budget committees:

  • $5.1 million in new funding for the Multi-Purpose Senior Services Program/MSSP (click here to read).
  • $17 million for Nutrition Programs (click here to read).
  • $7.29 million for Local Long Term Care Ombudsman Programs (click here to read).
  • $10 million for Adult Protective Services Home Safe Pilot (click here to read).
  • $3 million for the LTSS Budget Data Proposal (click here to read).
  • $2.2 million for an Alzheimer’s Disease Public Awareness Campaign (click here to read).

If the state pays its fair share, older Californians can have the support they need to live safe and stable lives in their communities.

February 15, 2018 – Why hasn’t California made the investments that are needed to build an adequate infrastructure for aging? Demographic trends clearly show the state’s aging population is on a collision course with the inadequate supply of lack of low-cost community alternatives to nursing home placement. So why are we stuck with 20th century funding?  

California’s Governor and Legislature continue to rely on federal funding for the majority of existing aging services, while keeping much needed state investment at minimum match levels. This budgetary neglect has resulted in inadequate capacity, limited access, health disparities and suffering.

This neglect of aging services – and of seniors – is unacceptable.

SSC is going to Sacramento to demand adequate funding for aging services.  We need the voices of older people, their families and the community-based organizations that serve them.

How can you help?  Put one or more of these actions on your calendar:

  • Plan to join us at the State Capitol for two key budget hearings – March 8 and March 21.

 

  • Participate in call-in days on March 7, March 13 and March 20.  We’ll send out instructions and scripts the day before.

 

  • Fax targeted letters from your organization to key budget committees.  We’ll send a set of sample letters each week so you can target key committee hearings.

WATCH FOR SSC ACTION ALERTS! We’ll send you the details each week and make it easy for you to take action and make your voice heard.

Click here for SSC’s State Policy Platform.

Click here to read SSC’s summary of how the Governor’s proposed budget could directly impact seniors and senior services in Alameda County.

January 24, 2018 – On January 10 the Governor released his proposed budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. In spite of an improved economic forecast for California, the spending plan continues the Governor’s cautious approach to the state’s finances, focusing on building the state’s reserves.

The proposed budget has its good points.  It would fully fund the state’s ACA/Covered California. It funds supplemental payments to Medi-Cal providers (though not to ADHC/CBAS) and covers growth in the Medi-Cal program. It funds rate and utilization increases for Medi-Cal medically necessary, in-home services in the fee-for-service system or home, and community-based services waivers. It includes increases in IHSS to cover caseload growth, paid sick leave and minimum wage increases.

In the big picture?  The Governor has ignored the deepening poverty of older Californians, their growing numbers, and the urgent need to invest in the aging services ecosystem. He includes nothing to address low SSI/SSP grant levels, or to replace federal cuts to HICAP. Nor does he propose building adequate capacity for Adult Day Services, senior nutrition or other programs that are needed to improve life and health outcomes for older Californians.

This neglect of aging services is unacceptable.  In coming months, SSC will be in Sacramento regularly and will be calling on you to add you voice as we call for adequate funding.

Click here to read SSC’s summary of how the Governor’s proposal that could directly impact seniors and senior services in Alameda County. For a deeper analysis of the entire budget, click here to check out the California Budget and Policy Center’s report.

July 25, 2017 – On June 27 Governor Jerry Brown signed the Budget for fiscal 2017-18. The spending plan fully restores Medi-Cal’s adult dental and vision benefits, and includes funding to mitigate the impact to counties as they take on a larger share of In-Home Supportive Services costs.  In addition, it uses Prop 56 tobacco tax revenues to fund supplemental payments to Medi-Cal providers (although not, sadly, for Adult Day Health Care providers).

Ultimately, the budget ignores the growing number of older Californians, their deepening poverty, and the urgent need to invest in the aging services ecosystem.  

Click here for SSC’s summary of how California’s 2017-18 Budget will impact seniors and senior services in Alameda County.

May 17, 2017 – Last week Governor Brown released the “May Revise” of his proposed FY 2017-18 budget. It continues the Governor’s cautious approach to the state’s finances, yet forecasts higher revenues over the next three years and makes several improvements over the January budget proposal, including funding to offset a large portion of the IHSS costs that are being shifted to counties.

However, the budget proposal fails to increase SSI/SSP grant levels for aged, blind and disabled Californians living in poverty, and ignores the urgent need to invest in supportive and health care services for seniors.

Click here for SSC’s summary of the items in Governor Brown’s revised 2017-18 budget proposal that would directly impact seniors and senior services in Alameda County.

For a deeper analysis of the entire budget proposal, check out www.CalBudgetCenter.org.

What’s next? The State Assembly and Senate Budget Subcommittees will wrap up hearings by the end of next week. Then a budget conference committee will be formed with members from both houses to resolve differences between the Assembly and Senate budgets.  The final budget plan will be voted on by both houses by June 15.

February 20, 2017 – When Governor Brown released his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2017/18, he included in it a plan to discontinue the Coordinated Care Initiative. Why is this deeply concerning for us in Alameda County? Because most of the “savings” the state stands to gain from ending CCI would come from returning to the pre-CCI arrangement that the state had with counties to split the non-federal cost of the IHSS program. That could mean a hit to our County’s 17/18 budget of $32 million.

The loss would not translate into cuts to services or hours – only the legislature can mandate such reductions. Instead, the County would have to accommodate the loss by other means, and discretionary spending that is not protected by entitlements could be severely impacted.

The Governor acknowledges that this shift would be a financial hardship for counties, but he does not offer a solution, except to say that his administration is willing to work with counties to explore possible solutions that mitigate the hardship. We know that the California State Association of Counties is actively engaged – the IHSS Cost Shift is at the top of their 2017 Priorities – and Supervisor Keith Carson is the CSAC President this year. Local advocates next steps will depend on CSAC’s success. Stay tuned.

January 25, 2017 – On January 10, 2017, Governor Brown released his proposed budget for California’s fiscal year 2017-18. Cautiousness characterizes the Governor’s approach. Expecting an economic downturn within the next few years, and mindful of possible federal actions that could have dire fiscal impact on California, the Governor proposes to roll back new spending for many initiatives, while funding caseload growth in existing programs.

The biggest blow to local health innovation is the Governor’s proposal to unwind the Coordinated Care Initiative’s funding for IHSS – a move that would increase the cost of IHSS for all counties, including Alameda. In addition, the Governor’s budget fails to increase SSI/SSP grant levels for aged, blind and disabled Californians living in poverty, and it ignores the urgent need to invest in supportive and health care services for seniors such as Older Californians Act programs, MSSP, and Medi-Cal provider rates for physicians, optional benefits and adult day health care.

Click here to read the impact on Alameda County Seniors and Services.

© 2019 - Senior Services Coalition
Wordpress Themes
Scroll to Top