April 30, 2019

Busy Legislative Session is Underway

As expected, the 2019 long session of the General Assembly is busy with committees meeting regularly.  The budget, initiated by the House this year, is expected to be published at any moment.  At that point, activities will likely ramp up to chaotic.  The bill filing deadlines for both the House and the Senate have already passed.  The crossover deadline is May 9th.  If a bill that does not have an appropriation attached to it does not pass one of the houses of the General Assembly by crossover/May 9th, it will no longer be active in this session.  Any bill that does have an appropriation attached to it does not have to meet crossover.  Even if a bill does not meet crossover, there is a chance that the bill will be included as a special provision in the budget or could be attached to an active bill.  These kinds of opportunities make for a lot of wheeling and dealing in the halls of the legislature. 

As of April 29th over 1,000 bills have been filed in the House and nearly 700 bills have been filed in the Senate.   A number of those bills are related to MH/IDD/SUD services.  All of these bills can be found on the General Assembly website by choosing “find a bill” and putting the bill number into the search engine on the top right corner of the homepage.  Here’s a sample of some of the more notable bills:

System Change

Medicaid Change

Social Services and Juvenile Justice


Workforce and Administrative Practices

There are numerous bills that make changes to professional licensures, postpone the HIE participation of some MH/SUD providers and exempt some IDD providers, and call for a study to identify where there is administrative duplication causing a burden for MH/IDD/SUD providers.