On May 9, 2019, Governor Newsom released the highly anticipated May Revision of the proposed 2019-20 budget. The May Revision continues to address the Governor’s values of effective government, affordability and opportunity, and justice and dignity for all Californians. The Governor has also been keen on ensuring that the state is ready for an economic downturn. Overall, the May Revision mirrors the January proposal with more funds added to certain areas and fewer funds to others due to changes in projected predictions.

  • The May Revision increases by $3.2 billion for a total of $213 billion due to projected short-term revenues.
  • The May Revision includes $162.3 billion for Health and Human Services, which is an increase of $1.1 billion from January.

Medi-Cal Expansion

The May Revise still expands full-scope Medi-Cal for undocumented young adults up to age 26, but at a lower cost given that the number of individuals that would enroll decreased from the Governor’s predicted projection in January.   

  • $98 million for full-scope Medi-Cal expansion for undocumented young adults aged 19-25.
  • The expansion will provide full-scope Medi-Cal coverage for approximately 90,000 undocumented young adults in the first year.
  • Coverage would begin on January 1, 2020.

Expanding Subsidies

The May Revision continues to address and improve health insurance affordability and move the state toward universal health coverage. 

  • The budget offers financial assistance to individuals with incomes between 400 percent and 600 percent of the federal poverty. California is the first state in the nation to offer financial assistance to individuals at these levels.
  • The budget would also increase subsidies for individuals with incomes between 250 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • The May Revision expands upon this proposal by offering subsidies to individuals between 200 percent and 250 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • Expanded subsidies would call for an individual state mandate.
  • Expanded subsidies and the individual mandate penalty are proposed to begin January 1, 2020.

Other Health Budget Intuitives

Other items in the proposed budget include significant investments in optometry care and the healthcare workforce, especially for mental health professionals.

  • The budget would restore optician and optical lab services for adults beneficiaries in the Medi-Cal program
  • Proposition 56 funds would provide support for workforce education and training around mental health, as well as support for the Medi-Cal loan repayment program among other things

The Governor has invested additional funding from January’s proposal to support:

  • Black Infant Health Program
  • IHSS Supportive Services
  • Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Whole Person Care Pilot Program
  • Expansion of paid family leave to six months

Other Budget Priorities

The Governor still makes a strong commitment to:

  • Early childhood education in providing universal preschool and full-day kindergarten.
  • Two free years of community college tuition for first-time, full-time students.
  • The May Revision includes additional funding for CSU’s and UC’s to prevent tuition increases.
  • Housing is still addressed head-on with the hope of accelerating new housing development.
  • The Governor has provided funds for legal aid resources to help renters fight back against rent gauging and other unfair practices.
  • Remove sales tax on menstrual products and diaper sales.

Still More To Do

We thank the Governor for his strong commitment in addressing the needs and concerns of California’s most vulnerable populations. However, the budget still falls short in addressing:

  • Full-scope Medi-Cal coverage to all individuals regardless of immigration status.
  • Funding for community-based health coverage assistors.
  • The Supplemental Security Income and State Supplemental Payment grant’s that were reduced in the last recession.

The California Legislature is set to finalize the proposed budget on June 15. There is still time to advocate and show support or opposition for items that are included or not included in the budget. CHC will continue to monitor the process and provide updates.

See the 2019-20 May Revision here.