California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies

CCCBHA Monthly Member Blog
A Long Strange Trip... and About to Get Stranger
I have been lobbying since 1977, and with CCCBHA since 1986, and in all of those years there has never been one like 2017. One where Sacramento is totally consumed by what will, or will not, happen in Washington DC and what it might mean.

Our agencies are impacted by what it means for Medicaid, and the state and counties will act with that looming shadow. Immigration policies create threats for many families we serve. For many of us and our staff, we have personal concerns that go beyond any of these specific issues.  These fears and uncertainties are so big that they are now part of every meeting and conversation. What we can do about it must take precedence over everything else. So, all of my blogs this year will start with this subject and my latest thinking.

Follow this link to access the full blog and read about the topics below in detail:

Governor's Budget, Legislature, Education of Members of Congress
In his January budget introduction, the governor appeared to adopt unusually conservative revenue estimates. This caused cuts in one time programs funded in the current year that would not have been required with the estimates provided by the Legislative Analyst. It is widely speculated that this is not just due to his fears of a recession, but also due to fears of reductions in federal financial support. This will trickle down to counties, so don't be surprised to see counties wanting to keep larger than usual amounts of unspent funds or reserves.
Mobilizing to educate members of Congress about what is at stake in making changes to federal support for health care is a priority for [Read More in Full Blog]

California Legislative Session Starts
With this background, we start the California legislative session with democratic 2/3 supermajorities in both houses of the legislature working to resist deportation of immigrants and support sanctuary status for local governments.  SB 54 is a bill introduced by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon which would prohibit state and local law enforcement, including school police and security departments, from using their resources for immigration enforcement.
Senate Bill 54 would also create "safe zones" at public schools, hospitals and courthouses where immigrant enforcement would be banned, and require state agencies  [Read More in Full Blog]

Proposition 64 (marijuana tax) Implementation: Our Biggest Opportunity
In behavioral health, our most important work will be the implementation of the new marijuana tax funding from Proposition 64, which our committees are now developing policy on.  The Department of Health Care Services receive 60% of the funds starting in 2018-19 for youth substance use education, prevention early intervention and treatment.  What those funds are allocated for, and how their use is governed, represents an unprecedented one-time opportunity to address policy and funding shortfalls.   [Read More in Full Blog]

Other CCCBHA Priorities Include: Workforce, Housing, Early Psychosis ...
Workforce: both for mental health and substance use disorders.  There will be a workforce summit on March 9th in Sacramento which should lead to priorities in earmarking Prop 64 funds and guiding development of regulations for MHSA funds.  There was a ten year set aside of MHSA funds that is nearly depleted... [Read More in Full Blog]

Update on Whole Person Care Pilots, Organized Delivery System for Alcohol and Other Drug Services, Integration of Physical Health and Behavioral Health, Coordinated Care for Dual Eligibles (MediCal/Medicare)
These DHCS issues are all part of a Section 1115 Medicaid waiver which is going forward as though there will be no Congressional changes in how Medicaid works in California.  Some counties not far along in their planning are waiting to see what unfolds before committing to the Organized Delivery System.  However, 18 counties (covering about 80% of the state's population) are going forward [Read More in Full Blog]

This is a long blog, but I wanted you to see the magnitude of what we are working on. It is a year like no other and requires all of us to step up in a way we never have before.

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California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies 
455 Capitol Mall, Suite 315, Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 557-1166 

Leaders in the partnership that developed and promoted Proposition 63.