In reviewing the hundreds of new bill introductions for the 2023 California Legislative Session, I came across a possible new approach for appropriations bills. Will this approach take hold with other measures as well?
The language is found in a “plus section” at the end of the particular bill and contains the following intent language (this language would be uncodified):
(a) It is the intent of the Legislature that this section be considered for the purpose of any appropriation made to implement Section 123833 of the Health and Safety Code, as added by the act that added this section.
(b) If the Director of Finance certifies that the state General Fund would be in a deficit in the following fiscal year, the Governor may, on or before July 1 of that fiscal year, notify the Legislature of the Governor’s recommendation that an appropriation not be made for any sustainability and access payments, inflation-based increases to payment rates for physician services, or reimbursements for lifesaving specialty drugs, as related to the California Children’s Services (CCS) Program, as described in Section 123833 of the Health and Safety Code, for the following fiscal year. It is the intent of the Legislature that any temporary suspension of those payments, rate increases, or reimbursements not exceed two consecutive fiscal years.
Subdivision (a) sets forth legislative intent that this section of the bill is to be taken into account for any subsequent appropriation of funds to implement the new statute that would be created by this bill.
Subdivision (b) would authorize the Governor to recommend that an appropriation not be made to fund specified items otherwise required by the new statute that would be created by this bill. In addition, this subdivision sets forth legislative intent that any suspension of appropriations not last for more than two years.
In light of the estimated state budget deficit, we may see more of this type of language in other bills considered this year by the California Legislature.
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