A Short-term Solution for a Long-term Problem?
July 30, 2021
As we pointed out in a recent Post, the Special Session II which will convene on Monday will be vastly different than most. The Legislative leadership has decided to not allow for “member amendments” to the Budget Bill proposed by the Administration. We know that the Members are keen to have influence in the final product, and there has been a great deal of “behind-the-scenes” negotiation between key money committee members and the Governor’s office.
The widespread “rumor” that the proposal for DD Waiver Services will be 12.5% bump on the rates for services between July and December 2021 has been again confirmed to us. We have, and have expressed, some a serious concern that the truncated timeframe for the “bump” will not form the needed “bridge” to the rebase (likely July 2022), which means that the increase can not responsibly be used to increase wages.
If the amount (12.5%) and the timeframe (six months) are predetermined, there are a couple of alternatives:
- The rebase could be included in the “caboose” budget. That is the budget proposed to correct any issues or problems in the current fiscal year. If that were the case, the rebase could be effective in April rather than July.
- The payment structure for the funding could be quarterly based on claims paid, that would put payment for each quarter of funding six to eight weeks after then end of the quarter and stretch the bridge closer to the possible effective date of the rebase.
Neither of these are particularly good choices; the former also depends on all of the pieces coming together and the outcome of the November elections!