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Sacramento Update

With the end of the the legislative calendar more than two weeks behind us, things are pretty quiet in our state’s capitol. That said, there are a few policy vehicles — legislation, the waiver, and the state budget — that are still in play in 2010. Here’s a quick synopsis of where things stand as of today.

State Budget
• We are 77 days into the new fiscal year and still no budget.
• Governor Schwarzenegger returned to Sacramento today from a trade visit to Asia.
• While the two sides are still far apart, some expect movement to a budget deal in the next 4 – 6 weeks.

The Waiver
• With the federal approval of the two-month extension of our existing waiver, the state has until October 31st to negotiate the 5 year waiver renewal.
• Discussions between DHS and CMS are going well, but there are still plenty of thorny issues that need to be worked out.
• Most likely, state waiver legislation will only be voted on when the Legislature reconvenes to vote on a new budget. Hopefully that happens before Oct. 31…

Health-Related Legislation
• During the last few weeks of the session, the CA legislature passed a slew of health reform and healthcare related legislation. See ITUP’s summary of the bills that passed.
• The biggest of all bills are SB 900 and AB 1602, the sister bills that would create the CA Health Benefit Exchange. We are hopeful that they will be signed into law, but there are apparently very powerful interests who are working hard and spending lots of money to ensure they aren’t.
• The Governor has until Sep. 30 to sign or veto these and all bills on his desk.
• We haven’t received word from the Administration on which way he might be leaning on any.

That’s it from Sac. Stay tuned to the blog for more…