Governor Charles D. Baker's Budget Recommendation - House 2 Fiscal Year 2017

Outside Sections


Outside Sections    (view all)      (view all - with summaries)      (view all - summaries only)

 

SECTION 4 - MassDOT Advertising

Summary:
This section reduces ambiguity by explicitly authorizing the Department of Transportation to sell, lease or otherwise contract for advertising, including on or in its own facilities.


 

SECTION 5 - Dual Enrollment Expansion

Summary:
This section expands enrollment options for secondary school students participating in the state's "dual enrollment" program by permitting such students to enroll in nonprofit, degree-granting career technical institutions, in addition to public colleges.


 

SECTION 6 - Work-Related Expense Deduction

Summary:
This section changes the formula by which the amount of benefits under the Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children program is calculated by increasing the amount of work-related expenses that may be retained by the recipient from $150 to $200 per month.


 

SECTION 7 - MassHealth Delivery System Reform and SANE Trust Funds

Summary:
This section establishes two new health-related trust funds. New section 2SSSS establishes the MassHealth Delivery System Reform Trust Fund to support MassHealth delivery system reform payments under an approved 1115 Demonstration Waiver and increased Medicaid reimbursements to acute care hospitals. Funding sources for the fund include a portion of the acute hospital assessment and federal financial participation revenues for expenditures made from the fund. New section 2TTTT establishes a statutory trust fund for the purpose of receiving funds from public or private sources, including philanthropic gifts and contributions, to support the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program.


 

SECTION 8 - GIC Contribution Ratios

Summary:
Under current law, state employees hired before July 1, 2003, must contribute twenty percent of their monthly health insurance premium, while those hired thereafter contribute twenty-five percent. This section equalizes that contribution at twenty-five percent.


 

SECTION 9 - Outsourcing Facilities Technical Amendment

Summary:
This section permits the Board of Registration in Pharmacy to extend an existing fee for a controlled substance registration, applicable to pharmacies and other similar entities, to outsourcing facilities.


 

SECTION 10 - Laboratory Analysis of Cocaine

Summary:
Under current law cocaine is defined as coming from a plant, requiring the State Police lab to conduct a separate test to confirm that each sample of cocaine it analyzes is not synthetically produced. This section brings the Massachusetts definition of cocaine in line with that of the majority of states, eliminating the need for that separate test and realizing associated cost, time and resource savings at the lab.


 

SECTION 11 - MassHealth Estate Recovery

Summary:
This section would expand MassHealth's ability to recover benefits paid on behalf of a deceased MassHealth beneficiary, by allowing for the recovery of non-probate assets and the costs of Medicare Part D pharmacy payments made to the federal government, consistent with federal law.


 

SECTION 12 - MassHealth Delivery System Reform I

Summary:
This section increases the acute hospital assessment to support delivery system reform and increased Medicaid reimbursements to acute hospitals.


 

SECTION 13 - MassHealth Delivery System Reform II

Summary:
This section transfers a portion of the acute care hospital assessment to the MassHealth Delivery System Reform Trust Fund, to support delivery system reform and increased Medicaid reimbursements to acute care hospitals.


 

SECTION 14 - MBTA Budget Date Change

Summary:
This section eliminates the April 15 statutory date by which the MBTA must submit its final budget to the MBTA Advisory Board, to align better with the state's budget process.


 

SECTION 15 - Statewide Housing Court I

Summary:
This section and the two succeeding sections expand the housing court's jurisdiction, so that the court would sit in all parts of the state. This section re-organizes the housing court's existing five divisions into six divisions,


 

SECTION 16 - Statewide Housing Court II

Summary:
This section and the two sections surrounding it expand the housing court's jurisdiction, so that the court would sit in all parts of the state. This section establishes minimum days per week when a judge is required to sit in each division.


 

SECTION 17 - Statewide Housing Court III

Summary:
This section and the two preceding sections expand the housing court's jurisdiction, so that the court would sit in all parts of the state. This section provides for the appointment of the additional judges necessary to preside over the six divisions of the housing court.


 

SECTION 18 - Earned Income Disregard I

Summary:
This section, together with the subsequent section, changes the formula by which the amount of benefits under the Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children program is calculated by increasing the amount of earned income that may be retained by the recipient to a flat 50%, regardless of whether the recipient is exempt from work requirements.


 

SECTION 19 - Earned Income Disregard II

Summary:
This section, together with the preceding section, changes the formula by which the amount of benefits under the Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children program is calculated by increasing the amount of earned income that may be retained by the recipient to a flat 50%, regardless of whether the recipient is exempt from work requirements.


 

SECTION 20 - Tourism Trust Fund

Summary:
This section keeps $44 million of room occupancy taxes available for on-budget expenditures, rather than transferring those taxes to the off-budget Tourism Trust Fund. Chapter 287 of the acts of 2014 created the Tourism Trust Fund, and transferred a share of room occupancy taxes to it, but with a delayed effective date. As a result, the proposed structure has never been in effect.


 

SECTION 21 - Study of Public Counsel Services

Summary:
This section requires the Secretary of Administration and Finance to consult with designees of the Legislature and courts and then, by November 1, 2016, report on a set of recommended reforms to reduce spending on public counsel services and promote efficiency and effectiveness within the Committee for Public Counsel Services.


 

SECTION 22 - Trial Court Transferability

Summary:
This section, which has consistently appeared in prior budgets, would authorize the trial court to transfer appropriations within its divisions, as long as such transfers are executed by April 30, 2017. It would also limit transfers from the appropriations for probation and community corrections to 5% of those appropriations. The section requires 10 days advance notice to the Ways and Means committees before a transfer under this section can be executed.


 

SECTION 23 - Tobacco Settlement/OPEB Transfer

Summary:
This section, which has appeared in prior budgets, authorizes the use of debt service reversions to pay for OPEB funding.


 

SECTION 24 - Inspector General's Health Care Audits

Summary:
This section authorizes the Inspector General's Office to conduct audits of the Health Safety Net and the MassHealth program, at a cost of $1M for fiscal year 2017. As in past years, this cost will be borne by the Health Safety Net Trust Fund.


 

SECTION 25 - Licensing Fees for Region C Facility

Summary:
This section dedicates any licensing fees that are collected in fiscal year 2017 as a result of licensing a Class 1 casino in Region C, under the gaming law, to the Stabilization Fund, after $8.5 million of those fees is transferred to the Community Mitigation Fund.


 

SECTION 26 - Commonwealth Care Trust Fund Transfer

Summary:
This section would require the Comptroller to transfer up to $110,000,000 from the Commonwealth Care Trust Fund to the General Fund.


 

SECTION 27 - FY2016 Consolidated Net Surplus

Summary:
This section requires a transfer of up to $10 million from any consolidated net surplus in fiscal year 2016 to the Community Preservation Trust Fund, and up to $10 million to the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, before the remaining funds are deposited into the Stabilization Fund.


 

SECTION 28 - Pension Cost of Living Adjustment

Summary:
This annual section explains how the Commonwealth is fulfilling its various obligations to the state retirement system, including the obligation to fund a 3% cost-of-living adjustment on the first $13,000 of a retiree's annual retirement allowance.


 

SECTION 29 - Suspension of Tourism Formula

Summary:
This section suspends for fiscal year 2017 the so-called "tourism formula," which statutorily governs the distribution of monies deposited into the Tourism Fund.


 

SECTION 30 - Treatment of Capital Gains in FY17

Summary:
This section requires the Comptroller to transfer all capital gains tax collections that are above $1.278 billion to the Stabilization Fund in fiscal year 2017. The Department of Revenue has previously certified the threshold for such transfers as $1.128 billion, so this section makes $150 million of capital gains tax revenue available for the budget. It is expected to result in the transfer of $206 million to the Stabilization Fund consistent with the FY 2017 Consensus Tax Revenue estimate.


 

SECTION 31 - Special Education Inflation Rate Freeze

Summary:
This section specifies that the state will pay private special education providers the same price that the state paid last fiscal year, except for those programs that qualify for "extraordinary relief" under Operational Service Division regulations.


 

SECTION 32 - Initial Gross Payments to Qualifying Acute Care Hospitals

Summary:
This annual section requires the Comptroller to transfer sufficient money from the General Fund to the Health Safety Net Trust Fund to make the required initial gross payment to qualifying hospitals. It requires the Health Safety Net Trust Fund to repay the General Fund before the end of fiscal year 2017.


 

SECTION 33 - MassHealth Dental Coverage

Summary:
This section authorizes MassHealth to provide the same level of dental benefits that it is offering in fiscal year 2016.


 

SECTION 34 - Nursing Facility Assessment

Summary:
This section authorizes MassHealth to increase the current nursing facilities assessment up to the maximum amount allowed under federal law, but not more than $240 million, in order to support higher nursing home payments.


 

SECTION 35 - Nursing and Resident Care Facility Base Year

Summary:
This section establishes 2007, or any subsequent year the Secretary of Health and Human Services may choose, as the base year for nursing facility and resident care facility rates in fiscal year 2017.


 

SECTION 36 - Massachusetts Hospital School Revenue Recovery

Summary:
This section requires each city or town, charter school or regional school district that assumes responsibility for a child admitted to the Massachusetts Hospital School to reimburse the Commonwealth for services provided by the school as described in the child's special education plan.


 

SECTION 37 - Department of Mental Health Trust Funds

Summary:
This section authorizes a one-time transfer from three community health center trusts and the mental health information system trust to the General Fund.


 

SECTION 38 - DDS Commissioner's Trust Sweep

Summary:
This section authorizes a one-time transfer of unexpended funds from the Department of Developmental Services Trust Fund to the General Fund.


 

SECTION 39 - Authority to Restructure MassHealth Benefits

Summary:
This section authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to restructure MassHealth benefits to the extent permitted by federal law.


 

SECTION 40 - MassHealth Delivery System Reform Trust Fund Transfer

Summary:
This section authorizes a one-time transfer from the MassHealth Delivery System Reform Trust Fund to the General Fund to support the Medicaid program.


 

SECTION 41 - Transfers Between Health Funds

Summary:
This section authorizes payments to be made to acute care hospitals and community health centers from the Health Safety Net Trust Fund in hospital year 2017. This section also authorizes the use of other federally permissible sources of payment to fund up to $70 million of additional payments for uncompensated care.


 

SECTION 42 - Charter School Funding Formula

Summary:
This section changes the formula for providing reimbursements in fiscal year 2017 to school districts experiencing increases in charter school tuition amounts as follows: (i) 100% of the increase in tuition amounts from fiscal year 2016 to fiscal year 2017; (ii) for any district with charter school payments exceeding 9% of net school spending in fiscal year 2017, an additional 50% of any increase in tuition amounts from fiscal year 2015 to fiscal year 2016; and (iii) for any such district, an additional 25% of any increase in tuition amounts from fiscal year 2014 to fiscal year 2015.


 

SECTION 43 - Western Turnpike Toll Use Clarification

Summary:
This section provides transitional rules for spending Western Turnpike revenues in the event that the existing notes and bonds relating to the Western Turnpike are paid off. These rules ensure that Western Turnpike revenues will continue to be spent on the Western Turnpike and on related facilities.


 

SECTION 44 - MassDOT Advertising Effective Date

Summary:
This section makes the section clarifying MassDOT's authority over outdoor advertising effective as of November 1, 2009.


 

SECTION 45 - MassHealth Delivery System Reform Effective Dates

Summary:
This section provides that the sections pertaining to MassHealth's delivery system reform shall take effect on October 1, 2016.


 

SECTION 46 - Effective Date

Summary:
This annual section provides that the budget shall take effect on July 1, 2016.


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