California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has signed a special bill favored by Planned Parenthood to increase Medi-Cal rates for "family planning services."
The bill will result in an additional $3.2 million per year being spent on family planning services. It was signed the day before the deadline for the governor to pass or veto bills on his desk. The proposal was opposed by all but one Republican in the legislature.
In a September 14 letter to the governor, Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman wrote, “it is unclear why rates for family planning services should be singled out for an increase from among the entire universe of services which Medi-Cal covers, especially when the increase was proposed at the eleventh hour of the legislative session. This proposed rate augmentation is more appropriately considered during the regular budget process.”
Planned Parenthood affiliates launched a massive statewide publicity campaign to pressure Governor Schwarzenegger to sign the bill. Planned Parenthood's California branches typically end each year with fiscal surpluses.