California State Budget Update from Rusty Selix, Executive Director, MHAC
As was widely reported the legislature has now passed a new state budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year which the governor is expected to sign. Included in the so called budget trailer bills is AB 118, the bill to realign mental health together with child welfare, alcohol and drug services, foster care, adult protective services and adult and juvenile justice programs as part of a "public safety" realignment. The bill creates separate accounts for each program so mental health funding is protected.
In addition the bill includes language suggesting that mental health services and alcohol and drug could be included in strategies to reduce recidivism and to prevent crime and funded from other accounts.
The bill includes formula distributions only for the 2011-12 year with a statement that additional formulas will be created for 2012-13. The 2011-12 formula for the mental health funding is the 1991 realignment formula - the same formula by which realignment funds would have gone to mental health if there had been no new realignment. The amount allocated is $90.3 million per month. Also at first glance it appears that the EPSDT program is not realigned for the 2011-12 fiscal year meaning that claims may be filed with the state for services above the allocations from the budget trailer bill passed in March (AB 100) of $579 million. (We are not certain of this and are seeking clarification from state officials).
We will provide more information as it becomes available.