Budget Bill Passes House, Passage in Senate Expected Today
June 29, 2012
The House passed the budget bill (Senate Bill 1466) the evening of June 28 and the Senate is expected to pass it June 29. The budget appropriates $27.656 in state funds in Fiscal Year 2012/13, an increase of $517 million over the governor’s initial budget proposal.
As reported in a June 27 Legislative Alert , the Human Services Block Grant has been replaced by a pilot project. The framework and details of the pilot are not part of the budget bill but will be included in a welfare code bill originating in the Senate. The proposed welfare code language that was shared with stakeholders is extremely problematic. It includes 20 counties, a five-year transition, and no sunset date. The welfare code bill will be introduced June 29 and the Behavioral Health, Intellectual Disability, and Autism (BHIDA) Coalition has prepared amendments to address issues. While intense advocacy on behalf of community services was successful in mitigating the 20 percent cut, the budget spreadsheets released June 26 still incorporate a detrimental 10 percent cut to funding streams intended to be part of the proposed block grant. These include Community Mental Health, Intellectual Disability Base Funding, Behavioral Health Services Integratrion, and Act 152 drug and alcohol dollars.
The budget includes good news concerning the Intellectual Disability Waiver appropriation. When federal Medicaid matching funds are included, there is a total funding increase of $135 million. This increase is a tremendous achievement, reflecting the strong and unrelenting advocacy of PCPA and other members of the BHIDA Coalition. Figures below are based on updated state funding information and the total when state and federal funding is combined.
- $55 million - Full Year Cost of the Waiting List Initiative for 1,131 individuals
- $37 million - Restoring the High Cost Case Review Cost Containment Initiative
- $31 million - Corrected Amount Needed to Support Office of Developmental Programs Proposed Rates for Waiver Services
- $12 million - Full Year Cost to Implement Year Two of the Benjamin Settlement (State Intellectual Disability Center Deinstitutionalization for 100 residents)
More details will be shared when the budget and accompanying legislation are finalized. Further questions may be address to Anne Leisure.