Budget Countdown Continues
With budget talks winding to a close, the State Budget Committee will hear the updated Revenue Forecast on Monday at 10 a.m., giving fiscal experts the last piece of the puzzle necessary to finalize the biennial budget bill, HB 1001.
SB 551, authored by Sen. Pat Miller (R-Indianapolis) and sponsored by Rep. Ed Clere (R- New Albany), was not heard in the House Ways and Means Committee before Tuesday's legislative deadline. Providing context, Committee Chairman Tim Brown (R-Crawforsville) indicated that he believed Medicaid and Affordable Care Act provisions belonged in the Budget. SB 551 had also contained a section directing the Office of Medicaid Policy & Planning (OMPP) to prepare a report for the Health Finance Commission addressing multiple aspects of risk-based managed care for Medicaid recipients within the Aged, Blind, and Disabled program. This language is expected to be included in HB 1001.
SB 500, authored by Sen. Pat Miller (R-Indianapolis) and sponsored by Rep. Clere (R-New Albany), passed the House this week by a vote of 93-0. The bill was not amended in the House, so it will head to the Governor's desk.
The metropolitan mass transit bill, HB1011, was gutted and current language will only implement a summer study to be conducted by the Senate. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 39-11.
HB 1051, Rep. Suzanne Crouch's (R-Evansville) bill to credential music therapists, did not receive a committee hearing in the Senate. Language from HB 1051 was amended into SB 273, a bill dealing with health professionals, in the House Public Health Committee. That bill will be on Third Reading on Monday.
Monday is the deadline for bills to pass from the House. The House used the "spare" day they'd left on their calendar rather than meeting a Thursday deadline they'd set as their goal. The Senate finished its Third Reading calendar Wednesday.
With Speaker Bosma back from a sick leave necessitated by a knee infection, the process of assigning members to conference committees has begun. The first of the conference committees will begin meeting next week. Speculation now puts the end of the session around April 24th, five days before the April 29th statutory deadline. The next two weeks will be fraught with negotiations and conference committee meetings as the legislature sets the fiscal agenda for the next two years.
Amidst the flurry of legislative activity, INARF member Rauch, Inc. was recognized by the General Assembly. The resolution, sponsored by Representative Ed Clere (R-New Albany and Senator Ron Grooms (R-Jeffersonville), lauded Rauch's 60 years of service and commitment to persons with disabilities and their families.
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