Budget appropriations for DDRS line items remained essentially identical to those in Governor Pence's proposed budget introduced at the beginning of the session. Both budget proposals reflect few differences from the current DDRS budget passed in 2011. The House budget does appear to provide full funding for Vocational Rehabilitation services, as well as funding for Adult Guardianship initiatives.
The House budget does provide increased funding over the Governor's proposal for education and roads. HB 1001 will face additional scrutiny and amendment in the Senate Appropriations committee when second-house committee action begins in early March.
HB 1001 also contains provisions directing OMPP to develop a plan to require Aged, Blind, and Disabled (ABD) Medicaid recipients to enroll in risk-based managed care by July 1, 2014, following CMS approval. This is similar to provisions included in HB 1591, which directed OMPP to report to the Health Finance Committee on the feasibility of ABD risk-based managed care. The INARF Board of Directors is closely monitoring these developments, recommending INARF collaborate with the Arc of Indiana and other allied partners.
Another of the "non-budgetary" provisions of HB 1001 collapses the Medicaid Oversight Commission and the Health Finance Commission and its subcommittees into one surviving commission, the Health Finance Commission. This had been in HB 1039, authored by Ways and Means chair and HB 1001 author Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville). HB 1039 was not heard in the committee to which it was assigned.
SB 564, the only one of the Veterans' Preference bills still alive at this point, will also be on the Senate's Second Reading calendar on Monday. Sen. Mike Delph's (R-Carmel) bill was amended Thursday in the Senate Appropriations committee to more closely resemble the MBE/WBE model by establishing a 3% annual goal for state procurement from veteran owned small businesses and assigning to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation the role of assisting the Department of Administration with the implementation of the program.
Both the House and Senate are taking the "mid-point" break Wed. through Friday.
Committees will begin meeting March 4 on bills that have passed from their house of origin.