Wednesday, June 28th, 2023Legislature Adjourned for Summer In-District Work Period
Tuesday, July 4th, 2023Independence Day
Legislature Passes $82 Billion Budget
This week, the Michigan State Legislature voted on and approved a state budget for Fiscal Year 2024 which begins on October 1, 2023. This budget was months in the making with negotiations culminating between the Governor’s office and Senate and House leadership over the past several weeks. This, coupled with the May Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference’s assessment that state revenues are trending down, meant many of the budget priorities of the House and Senate were negotiated down in total spending, thus bringing the budget for the Fiscal Year 2024 to $81.66 billion.
Both the omnibus and school aid budget received bi-partisan support as increases were made in education, revenue sharing, and behavioral health needs, as well as funding set aside for the state’s rainy day fund and school aid savings account. More than $800 million was spent on projects throughout Michigan that include grant funding for healthcare projects, housing, public infrastructure, and workforce development. To ensure transparency over these projects, the legislature included new boilerplate language requiring state departments to post on a website the requirements of the grants and the grant legislative sponsor.
$91.1 million was appropriated for healthcare grants, $40 million for housing grants, and $234 million for public infrastructure grants. $176 million was allocated for public safety grants and $35 million for workforce development grants.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services had the largest departmental budget, setting a record at $33.4 billion. The department’s spending increases are attributed to rising Medicaid caseloads and actuarial soundness funding for pre-paid inpatient health plans to administer Medicaid coverage. Behavioral health programs received a large funding increase in the FY 24 budget with nearly $66 million of the state’s general fund being allocated to help with the mental health crisis.
Both the House and Senate wrapped up voting before 11 p.m. by adopting Senate Concurrent Resolution 9, which prescribes the legislative agenda for the summer as members will begin their in-district period. Per SCR 9, we can expect the House and Senate to return to Lansing July 18 – 20 and August 22 – 24. The legislature will return to a more normal legislative schedule beginning on September 5.
All budget materials for Fiscal Year 2024 can be found here.
Medicaid Renewals Set to Begin in July
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued additional notice and guidance for Medicaid renewals that are set to begin on July 1.
Following new guidance from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), beneficiaries who received their renewal packets with a deadline of June 30 are encouraged to complete and return the packets by that date. However, MDHHS will not disqualify anyone from coverage for not returning paperwork until the end of July. This change is only for beneficiaries up for renewal in June.
U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Independent State Legislature
In a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the “independent state legislature theory” in Moore v. Harper.
The case stems from North Carolina’s most-recently drawn congressional map, which was argued to be racially gerrymandered. The North Carolina Supreme Court had ruled that the map was in violation of the state’s constitution, but others argued that the independent state legislature theory allowed the map to be valid. This theory asserts that state legislatures have sole authority to establish federal election laws without review by courts or governors.
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson issued a statement on the Supreme Court’s decision, stating it was a “victory for Michigan’s citizen-led and voter-enacted independent redistricting process”.
MI Joins Coalition to Protect Reproductive Privacy
On June 21, Attorney General Dana Nessel joined a coalition of 24 states to support patient protections related to reproductive health information.
The letter, led by New York and California, is in response the Biden Administration’s plan to consider adding HIPAA amendments that would further protect health information regarding reproductive care when requested during certain investigations.
The coalition of attorneys general argue that the proposed amendments protect patients against misuse and weaponization of data. The letter sent to the Biden Administration can be found here.