A quick review of the FY20 Budget (compilation thanks to Julie Watt Faqir, J.D. Executive Director Home Care Aide Council-updated by me) indicates both the House and the Senate accepted the recommendations by the Governor in House 1. His proposal contained level funding or modest increases for most Elder Affairs Line Items. Significant changes to House 1 proposed by either the House or the Senate are highlighted on chart attached (xls file) in yellow and bulleted here:
- 4000-0641 Nursing Home Rates which saw proposals adding $30-40 million to the bottom line to stem the wave of closures we have recently seen.
- Both chambers did include the an increase to fully fund Line Item #9110-9002 at $17m but each added over $1million in earmarks* and since their earmark lists do not match it will be reconciled in Conference.
- The Senate added the extra $300,000 to Elder Mental Health so this too will go to the Conference Committee.
- New funding for “Grant for advanced skill training for the home care aide workforce” and “SEIU Training and Upgrading Fund” which will also go to conference committee.
The Conference Committee is comprised of 3 Senators and 3 Representatives and has until June 20th (10 days before the start of FY20) to reconcile any differences between the House and the Senate versions and send their compromise to the Governor for signing- subject to vetoes. If this does not occur on or before June 20th a supplemental budget will be proposed. Only 6 of the 18 line items listed below will go to the Conference Committee. The Conference Committee is sequestered during the process and is immune to input for the outside. For more details on the Conference Committee see State House News article below.
RODRIGUES, MICHLEWITZ TO LEAD SIX-PERSON BUDGET CONFERENCE
Six lawmakers were named Thursday to negotiate differences between the House and Senate versions of a $42.8 billion fiscal 2020 state budget.
Leadership from the House and Senate Ways and Means committees, led by chairs Rep. Aaron Michlewitz and Sen. Michael Rodrigues, will try to come up with a consensus budget and present it to Gov. Charlie Baker by a July 1 deadline.
Committee vice chairs Rep. Denise Garlick and Sen. Cindy Friedman and ranking minority members Rep. Todd Smola and Sen. Viriato deMacedo — were also appointed as conferees for the fiscal year 2020 budget talks.
It was not immediately clear Thursday morning when the conference committee would formally begin its work. State budget conferees over the years have closed their negotiations, voting to do so at their first meetings.
Although both spending bills have similar bottom lines, there are several variations in policy and how spending is applied across the two versions. The Senate included taxes on opioid manufacturers and e-cigarette products similar to those proposed by Gov. Charlie Baker, but the House did not. Each branch took a different approach to education funding, with the Senate allocating about $50 million more to Chapter 70 aid increases than the House did but opting not to follow the House in reforming the charter school reimbursement formula or establishing a low-income trust fund. – Chris Lisinski/SHNS
5/30/2019 12:54:55 PM