Daily Update March 7, 2018

 FY19 Budget & Proposed Rate Increase

What about the RBWO rate increase?

Yes, the Governor included in his proposed budget a rate increase of 2.5% (less than the 7% advocated by providers). The bill, HB 684, for the  FY19 budget has made it no further than the House Appropriations Committee.  We potentially have quite a process in front of us. If you want a picture of what this could look like, take a look at the course taken to date by  HB 683, the FY18 Supplemental Budget:

Mar/05/2018 - Senate Transmitted House
Mar/05/2018 - Senate Agreed House Amend or Sub
Mar/01/2018 - House Immediately Transmitted to Senate
Mar/01/2018 - House Agreed Senate Amend or Sub As Amended
Feb/15/2018 - Senate Transmitted House
Feb/15/2018 - Senate Passed/Adopted By Substitute
Feb/15/2018 - Senate Third Read
Feb/14/2018 - Senate Read Second Time
Feb/13/2018 - Senate Committee Favorably Reported By Substitute
Feb/07/2018 - Senate Read and Referred
Feb/06/2018 - House Passed/Adopted By Substitute
Feb/06/2018 - House Third Readers
Jan/31/2018 - House Committee Favorably Reported By Substitute
Jan/19/2018 - House Second Readers
Jan/18/2018 - House First Readers
Jan/11/2018 - House Hopper

Our lobbyist, Helen Sloat, provided the following outline of the process to date (March 6, 2018):

The bill addressing FY 2019 (HB 684) is still in the House Appropriations Committee. We anticipate the bill, which hopefully will contain an increase in private provider rates, will be voted out of Committee tomorrow.  However nothing outlining a time for House Appropriations Committee is scheduled for such yet. Thus, there is NO meeting notice posted for the House Appropriations Committee to meet tomorrow. We will let you know when that occurs and what the budget contains. 

Once that vote happens, the legislation moves to the House Rules Committee. That Committee will then take action so that HB 684 will be placed on the House Rules Calendar and be heard in the full House by the Committee of the whole and then on the Floor. Once voted out of the House, the process starts over in the Senate. 

The Senate has already begun hearing from agencies and the public regarding the FY 2019 budget. You, along with others in Together Georgia, testified at that hearing. That is unusual as the Senate generally waits to talk about the budget AFTER the House has made its  recommendations. 

The Senate will then take what the House recommended and either agree or change it. However, we have no idea yet as the House has not voted out its version. 

Again once the bill comes out of the Senate Appropriations Committee, it moves to the Senate Rules Committee which will then put the proposal on the Senate Floor. They will then take action. 

It’s very likely the legislation will go to Conference Committee as there will be changes to it on both sides. If so, the conferees get appointed- three from House and three from Senate. Always these are leadership individuals including chairs of both Appropriations Committees. The Governor’s office does attend these discussions. It is not certain if the Governor will agree to more than 2.5 percent; we met with them on several occasions about the rates. The House and Senate then are required to take action on the conference Committee report which is the compromise that the Conferees reach. A final vote is then needed on the Conference Committee on both sides. 

After the bill is passed, the budget goes to the Governor. He has 40 days to consider after sine die (last day of session). He can line item veto an item in the budget. That’s always a danger. 

There will be likely [be] NO resolution until the 39th or 40th day. I would bet this year on 40th day if I were a betting individual. 

2018 Together Georgia Executive Retreat April 24 & 25 at the Westin,Jekyll Island
2018 Georgia Conference on Children and Families October 17-19, 2018

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