California’s largest state budget ever — $215 billion — is larded with a record number of local pork-barrel projects injected by individual legislators, often in exchange for “horse trading” votes on passage of certain pieces of legislation. “Pork barrel” is a metaphor for the appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative’s district.
There is pork in every aspect of this budget as California Globe is reporting: General Government Augmentations in 2019-20 Budget, Education, Resources and Transportation, Health and Human Services, and Public Safety.
This article will address the Health and Human Services – nearly $500,000,000 million of extras:
- $35 million General Fund one-time, $25 million Mental Health Services one-time, and adopt placeholder budget bill language to require a county match of 33 percent for expenditures of state funds. These resources will fund the five-year WET plan to train mental health professionals. (WET plan: workforce and education training programs in the
California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development).
- $2 million General Fund one-time to fund pediatric residencies
- $15 million General Fund one-time to fund asthma prevention and environmental remediation services
- $700,000 General Fund one-time for the Free Clinic of Simi Valley.
- $2 million General Fund one-time to support the International AIDS Conference. San Francisco and Oakland to host 23rd International AIDS Conference.
- $1.5 million General Fund one-time to support a study of farmworker health
- $2 million General Fund one-time to support the Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical Center.
- $7.5 million in 19-20, $27.8 million in 20-21, and $30 million in 21-22 and ongoing to raise the CalWORKs asset limit to $10,000 and the motor vehicle exemption to $25,000. (CalWORKs is a public assistance program that provides cash aid and services to eligible families that have children in the home.)
- Approve $6.8 million in 2019-20, $74.4 million in 20-21, and $85.7 million in 21-22, and $99 million in 22-23 to make changes in the CalWORKs EID and the IRT (income reporting threshold) previously adopted by both houses, with the exception of the inflator for the EID. HUD’s Earned Income Disregard (EID) allows tenants and their family members to work without an immediate rent increase.
- Approve $6.5 million General Fund annually with a suspension on December 31, 2021, for a CalWORKs COLA increase to rates paid to FFAs, except the portion paid to family homes or resource families.
- Approve $15 million in 19-20, and $30 million General Fund in out years with a suspension of the Family Urgent Response System on December 31, 2021 (Department of Social Services: Family Urgent Response System – vetoed last year by Gov. Brown).
- Approve $4 million General Fund one-time for the Elk Grove Food Bank Relocation.
- Approve $1.7 million General Fund one-time for the Orange County Diaper Bank at the Orange County Food Bank.
- $14.8 million General Fund one-time to be spent over three years for a supplemental rate increase for local MSSP sites (Multipurpose Senior Services Program).
- $500,000 General Fund one-time for the Poway Senior Center.
- $450,000 General Fund one-time for the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center.
TOTAL: $496,350,000 extra pork barrel projects in the California Budget.
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