Medi-Cal records public, judge says

March 22, 2012

Public records disclosure laws were broken last year by a state agency when it refused to disclose data on Medi-Cal budget reductions, a Sacramento judge ruled this week. [Sacramento Bee]

Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connolly, a former lawmaker, said the California Department of Health Care Services erred in its decision that keeping the requested documentation secret in order to “engage in candid policy discussions” with federal health officials. The state Medical Association, Hospital Association and Pharmacists Association filed a Public Records Act last year in an attempt to get supporting evidence that the cuts would not harm Medi-Cal patients.

Connolly said the information being sought was “a matter of public interest, and these interests take on additional import when the state is determining which programs to cut. An informed electorate has a right to know how spending decisions are made.”

He has ordered the state to comply with, or appeal, his decision within 20 days