State Senate Releases FY14 Budget Proposal

The Senate Committee on Ways & Means continued the state budget-making process today by releasing their version of the FY14 budget, which will be debated before the full Senate next week.

The $33.92 billion proposal is a $1.4 billion increase over estimated FY13 spending, but $904.3 million less than what the Governor proposed. The Senate Ways & Means version is also $67.5 million less than what the full House of Representatives approved in their budget last month.

Here are some items of note:

  • $4.5 billion for the MassHealth Managed Care line item – $39.5 million over the final House budget.
  • $2.9 billion for the MassHealth Senior Care line item – $42.5 million over the final House budget.
  • $187.2 million to fully fund the elder home care programs, an additional investment of $6.2M over FY 2013, to eliminate the current waitlist of 1,500 seniors. This includes $98.7 million for Home Care Purchased Services.
  • $10.5 million for Grants to Councils on Aging, increasing support to $8 per elder, marking the highest ever level of state support for councils on aging.
  • $2.1 billion for the MassHealth Fee-for-Service line item – $7.2 million LESS than the final House budget.
  • Level-funding the Pediatric Palliative Care Program.

The Home Care Alliance will again be working with Senators to file three budget amendments to create a home health certificate of need program, establish MassHealth reimbursement of home telehealth, and strengthening pediatric home health.

As the Alliance works over the next few days to submit these amendments, association members and advocates should be on the lookout for “advocacy alerts” with message templates that can be sent to Senate offices. Of course, more information on budget development will be released as it becomes available.

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