Dear Colleagues:

This morning the House Subcommittee on Appropriations for the Department of Community Health, chaired by Representative Gary McDowell, met at 8:00 a.m.. Senate Bill #1152 (H-1) was passed, with one additional amendment.

The amended language creates “Section 1603″, and reads as follows:

“Section 1603 (1) The department may establish a program for persons to purchase medical coverage at a rate determined by the department..

(2) The department may receive and expend premiums for the buy-in of medical coverage in addition to the amounts appropriated in part 1.

(3) The premiums described in this section shall be classified as private funds.”.

The Gross Appropriation to DCH as proposed by the Governor was $14.4 Billion. The Senate passed the DCH Budget at $13.6 Billion. The House version of SB-1152 sits at $13.7 Billion or $635 Million above the present year Budget, which expires October 1st, 2010.

Highlights of the Bill en route to the Full House Appropriations Committee are as follows:

The Bill returns the 3% salary and wage increase for DCH employees, which was deleted by the Senate. This line added $5.8 Million to the Budget, in economic adjustments.

An additional $2.2 Million was added to the State Disability Assistance Program, Substance Abuse Services, supporting indigents who reside in substance abuse facilities who do not qualify for SSI.

The House restored funding to local public health for immunizations and infectious disease control, etc.

The House added $600,00 and 6 PTEs to restore the Public Health Lab at Houghton.

The House added $3.7 Million to restore funding to the Transitional Medical Assistance Program.

This Legislation will go to the House floor and then to the Senate next week for rejection and referral to Conference Committee where all final differences will be resolved by June 20th, 2010.

As always, should you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. 


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