Budget Update #3

February 28, 2018

The House Appropriations staff prepared a “side-by-side” comparison of the House and Senate Budgets which will, as of today, be considered by the Conference Committee.  I have attached, at the link above, the Health and Human Resources Section which shows very clearly the most significant differences – the House version of the Budget contains Medicaid Expansion, the Senate version does not.

While I have long since learned to not try to predict the outcome or timeframe for the work of the Conference Committee, the general sense of the staff and other “experts” seems to be that we may expect an outcome similar to 2014 when the Session ended without a budget, reconvened in Special Session the following day, but didn’t have a budget agreed to until late in June!  If that occurs again, and the trail to follow to keep the basic provisions of either proposed budget in clear view becomes very complicated, we will send regular updates to keep you “in the loop.”

The letter that we will deliver tomorrow to the Conferees will support the House version of the budget.  While it does not have the extra DD Waiver slots to eliminate the Priority One Wait list, it does protect:

  • the initiatives and funding needed for STEP-VA,

  • discharge assistance for individuals from the State Mental Health Facilities,

  • rental subsidies for individuals who are I/DD,

  • the 825 DD Waiver slots in the Governor’s Budget, and

  • growth in CSA.