June 29, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the final budget package for 2020-2021. This year’s budget process was greatly accelerated, with what would normally take six months, the State Legislature and Governor were forced to forge an agreement in just over one month. California began 2020 with a strong economy, historic reserves, a structurally balanced budget, and a projected surplus of $5.6 billion. However, by May, the Legislature and the Governor’s office found themselves working to close a $54.3 billion budget deficit due precipitous state revenue declines and caseload increases due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
CMA advocacy proved successful in a difficult environment, ensuring that all of Proposition 56 revenue supports access for Medi-Cal patients and not the state’s general fund. The effective deployment of grassroots advocacy, including the first year of Loan Repayment Program awardees and second year applicants, paired with the legislature’s continued commitment to the voter intent of Proposition 56 was a winning combination.
The spending plan signed today avoided actions that could worsen the public health crisis and/or compound economic challenges of physician practices. CMA was successful in protecting the following programs and funding for the 2020-21 budget year.