Life Sciences Score Several Wins in State Budget

June 18, 2018
By Brett Johnson

The California Legislature voted to approve a budget deal on June 14 between Democratic legislators and Governor Jerry Brown, which will be his last budget as governor. The budget was passed hours prior to the June 15 at midnight deadline, which has been pushed in previous years.  The version of the budget passed includes $1.1 billion more in General Fund expenditures than that of the May revision, for a total of $138.6 billion for 2018-19.

As has been Governor Brown’s focus, much of the surplus generated was put away into rainy day funds, with two new savings accounts created in the case of a future recession. The Governor has until June 30 to sign the Budget bill, and the fiscal year begins on July 1st.

SB 840, The Budget Act of 2018 included a number of proposals for which CLSA advocated.

First, CLSA strongly supported a whole genome sequencing pilot for children in Medi-Cal who had gone undiagnosed or had difficulties getting conditions diagnosed. This pilot will be funded by a $2 million one-time appropriation and was championed by California’s Rare Disease Caucus.

Second, the legislature approved a $2.5 million one-time appropriation for a diabetes awareness outreach campaign. CLSA supported this measure as a significant step towards improving prevention and early detection rates for diabetes in California.

Third, CLSA has long supported funds in the governor’s budget for the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine. This year saw a boost in those funds with $30 million to fund projects under the initiative, representing a $20 million increase over last year. CLSA will push for the next governor to continue funding this critical initiative. Click here view CLSA’s statement of support.

Finally, CLSA also strongly supported funding for research into Jordan’s Syndrome. Jordan’s Syndrome is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the gene PPP2R5D. Research in this area is promising because such mutations may also be related to or cause a host of neurodevelopmental disorders in the human brain, including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain forms of cancer, among other diseases.  The budget item is a $12 million one-time appropriation to support UC-Davis-led research into this disorder.

CLSA will continue monitoring and supporting these budget items as we await action on the budget by the Governor prior to the June 30 deadline for approval. Any CLSA members who would like to provide input or would like further information on any of the budget items discussed above are asked to reach out to Oliver Rocroi, CLSA’s Senior Director, State Government Affairs ( or Brett Johnson, CLSA’s Senior Director, Policy & Regulatory Affairs (