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CCCBHA 2017 Priority Bill List

The Policy Committee held an Open Policy Call with Members on March 29th to discuss and review the large bill list for the 2017 legislative year. This year we are doing something new and sharing a CCCBHA Priority Bill List to highlight the bills that we are focusing on. There are 19 bills listed - many with CCCBHA Support, two are listed as Watch, one Co-Sponsor and one Oppose. 

Following the Priority Bill List, which includes a description of each bill, is a brief list of the rest of the bills that CCCBHA has taken a position on.This Bill List is a work in progress and we welcome your questions and comments. 

CCCBHA 2017 Bill List (PDF)


CCCBHA 2017 Legislative Priorities

1. Reject realignment of In-Home Support Services - Support AB 675 (Ridley-Thomas)

From 2000 to 2010, the growth for mental health funding from 1991 realignment was minimal due to a feature of the law that prioritized social service case load growth.  This was primarily due to the In-Home Support Services (IHSS) program which grew from $500 million to $2.5 billion.  That feature caused mental health to go from 1/3 to 1/4 of the overall 1991 realignment at a cost of about $400 million annually.  That problem was fixed through the 2011 realignment and the transfer of IHSS to the state in conjunction with the Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI) for dual eligibles (MediCal/Medicare). As part of a proposal to eliminate the CCI, the Governor proposes to return financial risk for IHSS to counties.   This reduces mental health funding by tens of millions of dollars in the first year growing to hundreds of millions annually over time. The IHSS program needs to stay state-funded as part of Medi-Cal as envisioned by AB 675 (Ridley-Thomas).

2. Restore funding for youth crisis and criminal justice diversion.

The 16-17 budget included $17 million in general funds for development of youth crisis care centers as an alternative to hospitals.  This was to be combined with $13 million in funding from the State General Fund for a total of $30 million in funding for this program.  In addition, $67 million was included for facilities and services to divert people with mental illness and substance use disorders from the criminal justice system.  The Governor’s budget eliminates the funding for both programs.  If proactive programs like this are not funded this will end up costing the state much more in the long run as these are the people at highest risk of costly hospitalization and incarceration. CCCBHA requests that the State Legislature include the funding for both programs in the 2017-18 state budget. 

3. Establish a framework for Prop 64 education, prevention and treatment funds.

Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), approved by voters in November of 2016, specifies funding for substance use disorder services (prevention and treatment) in two sections of the new law.

·         $10 million per year beginning in 2018, increasing by $10 million per year to $50 million in 2022-23 to the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development for a community reinvestment program, at least 50% of which in grants to community nonprofits, for job placement, substance abuse and mental health treatment, legal and other services to communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.

·         60% (expected to be hundreds of millions of dollars annually) are allocated to a Youth Education, Prevention, Early Intervention and Treatment Account.

CCCBHA and its member’s agencies, including Substance Use Disorder (SUD) providers, believe this provides a unique opportunity to fill in gaps in services and programs in SUD, with a focus on youth treatment not covered under existing funding streams.  CCCBHA is committed to a collaborative approach with coalitions and alliances that are also working on this issue to define the best possible set of guidelines for the implementation of Prop 64 which will best serve youth and families in California. We are in the process of developing a set of guidelines on where CCCBHA stands on this issue and we’ll share them at a future date.

4. Promote workforce solutions including MHSA regulations for county plans and expanded opportunities for peers, interns and mental health rehabilitation specialists.

Proposition 63 - the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) requires counties to develop a three-year spending plan along with annual updates.  One of the elements that is required to be in that plan is how each county will address workforce development and retention. The MHSA included $450 million in funds set aside for a statewide workforce development and retention program. That ten-year program and funding is now ending.  The act provided that after that time counties would be required to identify workforce needs in their MHSA three-year spending plans and could earmark funds for it in their annual updates.

However, due to the existence of the ten-year plan and funding DMH (now under DHCS) has never written guidelines/regulations for this part of the act. CCCBHA believes that this now needs to happen and that MHSA funds should to be appropriated for DHCS to have the staff resources to develop these guidelines in consultation with stakeholders.

New Medicaid managed care rules on network adequacy will augment the urgency of addressing workforce needs.  Counties need state guidance and the state needs resources for staff to develop this guidance which will allow them to work with counties, providers and other stakeholders

We request an augmentation of the DHCS budget to add staff for this purpose.  The funding for the position can come from MHSA funds.


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