HICA Fix Unanimously Passes House Appropriations Subcommittee
Thursday, April 17, 2014
HICA Fix Unanimously Passes House Appropriations Subcommittee In a surprise move on April 17, Representative Matt Lori offered an amendment to the budget that had been voted out of his own committee that would provide General Fund monies in the amount of $110 million to fix the revenue shortfall in the Health Insurance Claims Assessment (HICA). This hole continued to be a problem in the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) budget, as the budget for the current year assumes the $110 million hole will be fixed with one-time transportation revenues, but how the shortfall would be addressed in the FY 2015 budget continued to be a concern.
Both Senator John Moolenaar, Chair of the Senate DCH Appropriations Subcommittee, and Senator Roger Kahn, Chair of the full Senate Appropriations Committee, have stated publicly that they wanted to find a long-term solution to the problem but the House had left a solution out of its budget.
The amendment passed the full Appropriations Committee unanimously, indicating that there is a desire by both houses to get this hole plugged next year. There are still several steps to go, but this is a good sign. Ultimately, the pressure as to whether this gets fixed with General Fund monies will occur when the conference committee between the houses convenes, likely around the third week of May. At that time specific General Fund target levels will be negotiated and agreed to by the Governor’s office and the leadership of both houses. Speaker Jase Bolger has made it clear he wants to put significant General Funds into fixing roads, so exactly how that might affect the final target levels set for each department as to their General Fund allotments still has to play out. If significant GF is to go to roads, then the GF targets available to the conference committee will be lower and this fix could be compromised.
If you have any questions about the budget or the HICA fix, please email Doug Paterson, State Policy Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.