Governor’s Proposed 2015-16 Budget: Mental Health Highlights

Last Friday, January 9th, Governor Brown released his 2015-16 state budget proposal. NAMI California has identified the following areas, among others, as having potential impacts on consumers and families. NAMI California will continue to follow the budget through the legislative process and provide updates and advocacy opportunities to members.

  • Mental Health Services Act Revenues. The budget estimates annual revenues of $1.8 billion for 2014-15 and $1.775 billion for 2015-16. The 2013-14 estimates and 2014-15 estimates are $100 million and $200 million above the estimates for those years stated in the Governor’s January 2014 budget.
  • Medi-Cal Growth. The budget proposes total expenditures of $95.4 billion ($18.6 billion General Fund) for 2015-16. With enrollment projected at 12.2 million eligibles, about 32 percent of Californians will be in Medi-Cal. The Medi-Cal expansion, as provided by the Affordable Care Act, will result in an additional 3.3 million people enrolled in Medi-Cal.
  • AB 3632 Payments. The budget proposes $533 million of the $800 million currently owed to counties for pre-2004 mandates be paid in the 2015-16 year presuming that the May 2015 revenue estimates continue to show funds exceeding the May 2014 estimates. AB 3632 mental health services for students are a significant share of these payments.
  • Coordinated Care Initiative. Under this pilot project, dual eligibles (Medi-Cal and Medicare) receive medical, behavioral health and long-term supports. This pilot was intended to operate in eight counties; however, Alameda will now not be participating. Due to various implementation issues, including a large opt-out of participation rate of 69 percent, less federal shared savings, and delays in implementation, the program may not continue in the future due to poor cost-benefit. If factors don’t improve by January 2016, the CCI may cease operating effective January, 2017.
  • Drug Medi-Cal Program. California has submitted a federal Waiver for the Drug Medi-Cal Program, which focuses on the delivery of substance use disorder services, which will be finalized in 2015. A key component of this Waiver is to expand Residential Treatment Services. In addition to the federal Waiver submitted for restructuring this program, the Department of Health Care Services is in the process of trying to complete recertification of hundreds of facilities that provide drug treatment. DHCS contends they will complete this recertification process by November 2015.
  • 2011 County Realignment. The Behavioral Health Account within realignment is to receive growth funds of $146 million in 2014-15 and $141 million in 2015-16. A priority for these growth funds will be for children’s specialty mental health and Drug Medi-Cal Program services.
  • Department of Social Services-Continuum of Care Reform. The budget proposes $9.6 million for DSS to begin implementing the Continuum of Care Reform, which includes preventative, wraparound and mental health services for foster youth.
  • Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP). Total expenditures of $2.8 billion are budgeted which reflects a revised maximum grant level for January 2015 set at $881/month for individuals and $1483/month for couples, and a caseload of 1.3 million recipients.
  • Department of State Hospitals and Department of Social Services: Department of State Hospitals and Department of Social Services will increase the number of beds available to admit clients who need to be restored to competency in order to stand trial. The San Bernardino County Restoration of Competency Program and Porterville Secure Treatment Program are likely to be expanded.
  • Proposition 47 Funds. Proposition 47 funds will be placed in a new fund to be used for mental health and substance use disorder treatment services, among other programs. These funds will be available beginning in the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Thank you for your dedication to
mental health advocacy!

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