Understanding the state budget process is important as advocates strategize when, where and how to lend their voices for the causes they care most about. Lately, Community Health Center advocates have been asked to take action on many issues and have continued to rise to the occasion. While we must keep pressure up on the federal issues impacting health centers, we cannot lose sight of the significant state issues too.
This blog post gives advocates a chronological state budget timeline at-a-glance.
- February 8, 2017: Governor Kasich introduced the Executive Budget (HB 49)
- May 2, 2017: Ohio House passed Substitute House Bill 49
- June 21, 2017: Ohio Senate passed an Amended HB 49
- June 27, 2017: Conference Committee released its report
- June 28, 2017: House and Senate expected to agree to the Conference Committee Report – this is an up or down vote, no opportunity to amend.
- June 30, 2017: Governor will issue his line-item vetoes of HB 49 and sign the legislation into law (the General Assembly can override a line-item veto by three-fifths majority vote of each house)
For policy wonks that want the full, “deep-dive” budget process, we suggest reading the full text of the Legislative Services Commission Guidebook.
Where are we in the process?
As it rests right now, House Bill 49 as delivered to the Governor proposes the following:
- “Trigger” the termination of state funding to provide coverage to Group VIII should the federal government change its level of funding provided to states;
- Freeze enrollment in Group VIII, commonly known as the Medicaid expansion population, as of July 1, 2018. Estimates show a 72% reduction in coverage for current Group VIII enrollees within 18 months;
- Require the Ohio Department of Medicaid to re-submit the Healthy Ohio waiver- a waiver that was rejected by CMS in 2015; and
- Require individuals covered by Medicaid via expansion to be working or in school, unless they fall into one of three narrow exemption categories. The philosophy espoused in the language does not recognize those who are actively seeking work or those on a waiting list for an alcohol or drug treatment program.