SB169 did not make it out of committee yesterday, but it was not due to lack of support from those present. There where 50-60 people in the room (many who needed to stand), along with another 20-30 in the hallways outside. Most wore yellow shirts which said "Support the Need". Passionate testimony was given by parents, staff, board members, and people receiving services. In the end, a motion was made to defer the issue to the 41st day of the Legislature, which effectively kills the bill without voting "no" on it (because there is no 41st day). There were six members of the Taxation Committee present, with four of them voting to move it to the 41st day, and two voting against this. The issue was very emotional for all present, including for those voting to kill the bill. Even though this bill didn't pass, the committee members agreed that something needs to be done to increase funding to our system. I would highly encourage you to send a note of thanks to the sponsors of this bill, especially the prime sponsor, Senator Novstrup. He is a great champion for the services we provide, and he deserves our thanks for going to bat for us.
Contact Links for Sponsors of SB169:
SB147, the other bill that went before a senate committee yesterday, did pass out of committee unanimously and it will be going to the floor of the Senate on Tuesday (2/21). This bill is more technical, and it does not compel funding or mandate an appropriation from the legislature. However, it is hoped that it could be used as an aid in making future funding decisions for medicaid providers. This bill would affect all medicaid providers in the state, including community support providers, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, community mental health centers, etc. Click here for the one-page document that gives more background information on this bill. If you would like to help, I would encourage you to contact your Senator before Tuesday and ask them to support SB147. I'll give an update on this bill next week.