The new budget deal between Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic lawmakers involves a controversial shift of 880,000 Healthy Families children to lower-cost Medi-Cal, additional child care cuts and more stringent work requirements for welfare parents.
Senate Democratic leaders provided details today in a hastily scheduled Capitol press conference, just minutes after Brown issued a joint statement declaring a "conceptual agreement" with lawmakers.
"This is a budget that is not fundamentally different from the budget we passed on Friday," said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento.
Steinberg said major changes focused on areas that serve low-income residents: Healthy Families medical coverage for low-income children slightly above the federal poverty line; subsidized child care; and welfare-to-work. We detail the changes after the jump:
What it does: Provides subsidized medical coverage for 880,000 children whose parents earn more than the federal poverty level but lack health insurance. Families can qualify if they earn below 250 percent of federal poverty level, roughly equal to $56,325 for a family of four.
Democratic budget: Shifted 187,000 children whose parents are at 133 percent of federal poverty, or $29,725 for a family of four, to Medi-Cal. Those children are already slated to go to Medi-Cal in 2014 under the federal health care overhaul whose fate is in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Compromise budget: Shifts all 880,000 children to Medi-Cal in three phases during 2013. The first group involves 415,000 children on Jan. 1, 2013, who are currently enrolled in Healthy Family plans that also serve Medi-Cal.
Savings: $13.1 million in 2012-13, higher amounts thereafter
What it does: The state provides 352,600 subsidized child care slots low-income families. Roughly one third of those help families enrolled in welfare-to-work, called CalWORKs.
Democratic budget: Saved $165 million by making partial-day preschool slots part of the overall education budget, presumably crowding out a similar amount that would have funded other school programs. Also cut $50 million overall to subsidized child care, equivalent to 6,600 slots.
Compromise budget: Maintains $165 million shift. Increases overall cut to $80 million, equivalent to 10,500 slots.
Savings: $245 million in 2012-13
What it does: Provides grants, child care, job training, treatment and transportation to 586,000 families.
Democratic budget: Saved $327 million by continuing to allow parents of young children (one child under 2 years, two children under 6) to receive cash aid without trying to find a job. The state saved money by not providing training, child care and other support services. Also saved $96 million by requiring certain families who receive smaller grants and no support services to verify their status once per year rather than twice.
Compromise budget: Phases out work exemption for young parents over the next two years. Requires that parents meet federal work requirements - typically working for 30 hours a week - or else lose their welfare and support services after two years. Allows counties to override the two-year time limit in about 5 percent of cases where a parent is close to finding a job, lives in a high unemployment region or meets other criteria that is still being worked out. Applies only to new families. Includes the new once-a-year reporting requirement.
Savings: Steinberg said the savings is roughly equivalent to the $423 million that Democrats relied on before, though it is found through new ways.