Governor Deval Patrick's Budget Recommendation - House 1 Fiscal Year 2008

Governor's Budget Recommendation FY2008

Outside Sections



 

SECTION 4.   E911 Surcharge Extension (1 of 2)

Summary:
This section extends until June 30, 2008 the surcharge that funds enhanced 911 services.


 

SECTION 5.   Suggestions Awards Board

Summary:
This section amends the Suggestions Awards program so that agencies may retain and spend savings generated by their employees.


 

SECTION 6.   Establish Unified Carrier Registration Trust Fund

Summary:
This section establishes a special fund for depositing revenues from interstate commercial motor vehicle registrations.


 

SECTION 7.   Collection of Fraudulent Overpayments by DTA

Summary:
This section allows the Department of Transitional Assistance to collect overpayments due to criminal fraud using all legal and administrative means available.


 

SECTION 8.   Medicare Part D and Prescription Advantage

Summary:
This section is intended to maintain the fiscal viability of the Prescription Advantage Program, the state prescription drug insurance program. Prescription Advantage is used in conjunction with the federal prescription drug program, Medicare Part D, to ensure that income eligible Massachusetts residents have prescription insurance. This section allows the Department of Elder Affairs to adjust cost sharing guidelines to reflect cost changes that are a result of pricing adjustments made by pharmaceutical suppliers.


 

SECTION 9.   Reduce Boxing Commission Costs

Summary:
This section supports costs savings initiatives at the Department of Public Safety.


 

SECTION 10.   Inland Fish and Game Fund

Summary:
This section includes the budgetary fund, the Inland Fish and Game Fund, in the calculation of Consolidated Net Surplus.


 

SECTION 11.   Repeal Health Care Quality Improvement Trust Fund

Summary:
This section repeals the Health Care Quality Improvement Trust Fund. Nursing home expenditures previously funded from this Fund will now be funded from the General Fund in item 4000-0640.


 

SECTION 12.   Emergency Spending Authority

Summary:
This section authorizes the Governor to expend funds up to $25 million, without further appropriation, in the event of a declared emergency.


 

SECTION 13.   Repeal Health Care Security Trust Fund

Summary:
This section repeals the Health Care Security Trust.


 

SECTION 14.   Establish State Retiree Benefits Trust Fund

Summary:
This section establishes the State Retiree Benefits Trust Fund, to pay the costs of health care and other non-pension benefits for retired members of the state retirement system. Eventually, 90% of tobacco settlement funds will be deposited in this Fund; the remaining 10% will be used for tobacco control programs.


 

SECTION 15.   Date of ATB Decision for Purposes of Payment of Disputed Tax

Summary:
This section requires taxpayers to remit taxes promptly, once they lose an Appellate Tax Board appeal.


 

SECTION 16.   Redistribution of the Physician Licensing Cycle

Summary:
This section redistributes the two-year license renewal cycle for physicians' medical licenses. Currently, more licenses are renewed in odd years. By redistributing the renewal cycle, this section will allow renewal revenue to be more balanced from year to year.


 

SECTION 17.   MassHealth - Employer-Sponsored Insurance Right of Subrogation

Summary:
This section allows MassHealth to contact an applicant's employer on the applicant's behalf and enroll the member in employer-sponsored insurance (ESI). MassHealth would evaluate cost-effectiveness and coverage of any ESI policy and would purchase or subsidize the cost of the policy for the member. This initiative enables MassHealth to avoid unnecessary spending and improve overall program integrity.


 

SECTION 18.   Children's Medical Security Plan Premiums

Summary:
This section removes the premium structure in effect through FY05 from statute, and allows MassHealth to set premiums through regulation. In FY06 and FY07, a new premium structure included in line-item language had superseded the statutory premium structure.


 

SECTION 19.   Codify MassHealth Essential

Summary:
This section codifies in the General Laws the MassHealth Essential program, which provides health benefits to long-term unemployed residents.


 

SECTION 20.   MassHealth - Third Party Liability to Satisfy Federal Law

Summary:
This section amends the current definition of liable health care payers for MassHealth cost-avoidance and cost-recovery operations to include service benefit plans, managed care organizations, and pharmacy benefit managers among entities with third party liability (TPL). It also prohibits special treatment, such as benefit reduction, premium shifts, or premium increases, by insurers of MassHealth members. While these changes are required to bring MassHealth into compliance with the federal Deficit Reduction Act (DRA), they also provide MassHealth with additional flexibility to recover from TPL parties, and enhance MassHealth's program integrity.


 

SECTION 21.   MassHealth - Wellness Program

Summary:
This section clarifies that the Executive Office of Health and Human Services may reduce copayments or premiums, or provide other incentives, to encourage MassHealth members to meet wellness goals.


 

SECTION 22.   Transfer of the Health Safety Net Office to HCFP (1 of 3)

Summary:
This section (1 of 3) amends health care reform legislation to allow the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, located with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, to administer the Health Safety Net Trust Fund (formerly the Uncompensated Care Pool). This change will ensure continued federal reimbursement fot these payments.


 

SECTION 23.   Transfer of the Health Safety Net Office to HCFP (2 of 3)

Summary:
This section (2 of 3) amends health care reform legislation to allow the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, located with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, to administer the Health Safety Net Trust Fund (formerly the Uncompensated Care Pool). This change will ensure continued federal reimbursement fot these payments.


 

SECTION 24.   Hospital Assessments for HCFP and HSNO Administrative Funding

Summary:
This section codifies the assessment that acute care hospitals pay to the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy. The assessment was formerly required within the line item language for the Division.


 

SECTION 25.   Move Nursing Home Assessment to General Fund for MassHealth

Summary:
This section redirects funds from the nursing home assessment to the General Fund for MassHealth programs.


 

SECTION 26.   Transfer of the Health Safety Net Office to HCFP (3 of 3)

Summary:
This section (3 of 3) amends health care reform legislation to allow the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, located within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, to administer the Health Safety Net Trust Fund (formerly the Uncompensated Care Pool). This change will ensure continued federal reimbursement fot these payments.


 

SECTION 27.   Codify DHCD Individual Development Accounts Program

Summary:
This section codifies in the General Laws the Individual Development Accounts program of the Department of Housing and Community Development, to assist first-time homebuyers.


 

SECTION 28.   Codify DHCD MRVP and RAFT Programs

Summary:
This section codifies in the General Laws the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program and the Residential Assistance to Families in Transition program, both administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development.


 

SECTION 29.   Court Ordered Evaluations of Competency to Stand Trial (1 of 2)

Summary:
This section amends the current law to permit extended court-ordered evaluations to be conducted in the community or place of detention if a defendant does not require a hospital level of care.


 

SECTION 30.   Court Ordered Evaluations of Competency to Stand Trial (2 of 2)

Summary:
This section further amends the current law to permit extended court-ordered evaluations to be conducted in the community or place of detention if a defendant does not require a hospital level of care.


 

SECTION 31.   Electronic FID Card Renewal Notices

Summary:
This section allows the Criminal History Systems Board to send electronic renewal notices for FID cards.


 

SECTION 32.   Electronic Firearms License Renewal Notices

Summary:
This section allows the Criminal History Systems Board to send electronic renewal notices for firearms licenses.


 

SECTION 33.   Uniform Carrier Registration Fee

Summary:
This section establishes a fee to be paid by commercial vehicle owners.


 

SECTION 34.   Eliminate Repeal of Division of Professional Licensure Trust

Summary:
This section eliminates the sunset date for the Division of Professional Licensure Trust Fund, which supports the Division's operations.


 

SECTION 35.   E911 Surcharge Extension (2 of 2)

Summary:
This section extends until June 30, 2008 the surcharge that funds enhanced 911 services.


 

SECTION 36.   Hospital Rate Pay for Performance

Summary:
This section implements pay for performance for hospitals, as mandated in the 2006 Health Care Reform legislation. It also requires the rate proceeds to be appropriated at MassHealth, including the last quarter of rates from FY07, which will be paid in the first quarter of FY08, which aligns the timing of when hospital rates are appropriated with when they are spent.


 

SECTION 37.   Essential Community Provider Trust Fund

Summary:
This section establishes a transfer from the General Fund to the Essential Community Provider Trust Fund to provide grants to Community Health Center who provide uncompensated care.


 

SECTION 38.   Line Item Transferability

Summary:
This section allows the Secretary of Administration and Finance to transfer funds between accounts within a department, or within a secretariat, in the Executive Branch, not to exceed 5% per account., with the approval of the sending and receiving agency heads and their Secretary. It also allows for the transfer between consolidated homelessness accounts at Human Services and Housing. Transferring funds will allow agencies to maximize efficiencies, offset unforeseen deficiencies, and better manage their operations. This authorization has previously existed for the Judiciary and the Legislature.


 

SECTION 39.   Payment of Certain Pensions

Summary:
This section provides that certain retirees whose pensions had not been fully provided under the pension system will continue to receive their pension benefits.


 

SECTION 40.   Pension Cost of Living Adjustment

Summary:
This section provides for a 3% increase on the first $12,000 in pension benefits for retired state employees. The section is included each year in the budget.


 

SECTION 41.   Phase-in Deposit of Tobacco Litigation Proceeds

Summary:
This section phases in the deposit of tobacco litigation proceeds into the State Retiree Benefits Trust Fund over four fiscal years.


 

SECTION 42.   Stabilization Fund: Cancel Deposit and Transfer Interest

Summary:
This section cancels the automatic deposit into the Commonwealth Stabilization Fund for fiscal years 2007 and 2008, and tranfers the Fund's interest (but not more than $75 million) to the General Fund .


 

SECTION 43.   Study Commission on Retiree Benefit Liability

Summary:
This section establishes a special commission to study the commonwealth's liability for paying retiree health care and other non-pension benefits.


 

SECTION 44.   Transfer Fund Balances

Summary:
This section transfers:
          (a) $380.52 million to the State Retirees Benefits Trust Fund, to pay fiscal year 2008 retiree benefit costs;
          (b) the balance in the Health Care Quality Improvement Trust Fund to the General Fund;
          (c) $50 million from the Health Care Security Trust to the General Fund, to be used for the following programs of the Department of Public Health: substance abuse services, public health promotion and disease prevention, and universal Immunization;
          (d) the balance in the Health Care Security Trust to the State Retirees Benefits Trust Fund, as of January 1, 2008.


 

SECTION 45.   Blue Hills Ski Area Long-Term Lease Authorization

Summary:
This section allows the Department of Conservation and Recreation to lease the Blue Hills Ski Area to a private operator for 25 years.


 

SECTION 46.   Long-Term Leases to Operate Public Skating Rinks

Summary:
This section allows the remaining DCR skating rinks to be leased to private entities, which would manage the general operations for those rinks.


 

SECTION 47.   Transfers Among Health Care Funds

Summary:
This section allows transfers among the General Fund, the Commonwealth Care Trust Fund and the Health Safety Net Trust Fund, to support the Health Care Reform Act.


 

SECTION 48.   MassHealth Provider Supplemental Payments

Summary:
This section transfers funds from the General Fund to the Medical Assistance Trust Fund for the purposes of making medical assistance payments to the state's safety net care hospitals.


 

SECTION 49.   UMass/Health and Human Services Interagency Service Agreements

Summary:
This section authorizes agreements between the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.


 

SECTION 50.   Special Education Provider Rate Freeze

Summary:
This section freezes Special Education provider rate increases at the FY07 level.


 

SECTION 51.   Health Care Security Trust Repeal: Effective Date

Summary:
This section makes the repeal of the Health Care Security Trust effective on January 1, 2008.


 

SECTION 52.   Effective Date

Summary:
This section specifies that the budget will become effective on the first day of the fiscal year.