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Finance finishes work on state budget; bill now proceeds to full legislature

The state legislature’s powerful Joint Committee on Finance (JCF) wrapped up action this afternoon in crafting its version of the 2019-21 biennial state budget, approving an amended package with a 12 to 4 party-line vote. Now the spending package must pass both houses of the legislature before being sent to Governor Tony Evers for his signature or veto.

As outlined in last week’s Medigram story, the budget contains a number of Society-promoted and -supported health care provisions:

  • $24 million in base reimbursement increases for physician and behavioral health services.
  • $6.8 million added for telehealth reimbursement services.
  • An almost $900,000 increase in funding for the “hub and spoke” substance abuse treatment model, aimed at supporting people in recovery for opioid use disorder. The JFC motion would also allow opioid treatment programs to seek grants from the state for methadone treatment.
  • Adding $500,000 in funding for the Child Psychiatry Consultation Program.
  • $100,000 for Department of Health Services’ (DHS) Division of Public Health to help conduct a statewide, “science-based” public outreach/education campaign on vaccinations.

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau will brief legislative caucuses next week, followed by full Assembly and Senate floor sessions the week of June 24; the Assembly plans to hold a floor vote on Tuesday, June 25, with the full Senate likely to be in session on Thursday, June 27. If both houses pass the same version of the budget document, the bill then goes to Gov. Evers for final action. That action can include signing the budget as presented, making “line-item” vetoes to individual provisions and signing the remainder into law, or vetoing the entire document.

Contact Mark Grapentine, JD, Lisa Davidson, or HJ Waukau for more information.

Back to June 13, 2019 Medigram