Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown approves health insurance tax package

In this Jan. 7, 2016 file photo, Gov. Jerry Brown answers a question concerning his proposed 2016-17 state budget at a news conference, in Sacramento, Calif.
In this Jan. 7, 2016 file photo, Gov. Jerry Brown answers a question concerning his proposed 2016-17 state budget at a news conference, in Sacramento, Calif. AP

Gov. Jerry Brown signed major health plan tax legislation Tuesday, the day after lawmakers passed the package as part of a bipartisan deal with Brown to preserve a major funding source for low-income healthcare and other programs.

California’s proposal now goes to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which will have the final say on whether the expanded tax on managed-care organizations meets its demands for a broad-based levy that would bring the state more than $1 billion in matching federal funds.

A spokesman for the federal department had no estimate on how long the review would take. The state’s existing tax expires July 1.

Brown signed three measures Tuesday: the three-year MCO tax bill; a second measure that, in the coming fiscal year, directs more than $300 million from the general fund to services for people with developmental disabilities and forgives $123 million from a budget debt owed by skilled-nursing facilities; and a budget measure that reflects other components of the deal with Republicans, such as allocating about $1.9 million to enroll students in the San Joaquin Valley Medical Program.

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