Time for an Update and Good News

August 04, 2021

We have known since yesterday that our request to extend the 12.5% boost for Waiver services (all HCBS services) for an additional six months (through June 2022) was being submitted as an amendment request to the Senate Budget Bill.  Thank you to Senator Emmett Hanger for his efforts!   While that was a very positive step (remember this was the budget that was not going to allow any amendments), an amendment is not money in the bank.

Today, the House rejected the few amendments proposed to their version, but the Senate relented fairly quickly and began to accept amendments that appear to have great public support and interest.  A couple of examples are immediate hazard pay bonus of $5,000 for Sheriffs and Regional Jail employees and a mandate to reopen local DMVs.  They are now in recess until 6:30pm (no doubt to regroup and confer with their caucus from the other chamber and the Governor’s Office); we do expect the Budget to pass out of the Senate tonight and for the House budget to clear committee tonight and be ready for action tomorrow. 

The amendment introduced to extend the HCBS 12.5% boost will be heard after they reconvene this evening – while we do not know the outcome, the possibility is certainly higher at this moment than it was early this morning!  If you have a way to reach your Senator before 6:30pm – now would be a good time to do that, and encourage support of 21300241A from Senator Hanger.