Two-thirds of bills, joint resolutions culled from consideration (eCapitol News)

(eCap) Nearly two-thirds of the bills and joint resolutions available for consideration during the 2020 regular session were culled by lawmakers by Thursday’s deadline for the measures to be heard in a committee of their chamber of origin, preliminary numbers show.

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A total of 2,236 new bills and joint resolutions were filed by lawmakers for consideration during the 2020 legislative session, the Second Session of the 57th Legislature. More than 2,300 bills and joint resolutions were carried over from the 2019 session and also were available for consideration.

After Thursday’s deadline, 1,430 measures remain alive, including:

  • 702 House bills;
  • Three House joint resolutions;
  • 716 Senate bills; and
  • Nine Senate joint resolutions.

Some 561 of those measures were carried over from the 2019 session, including 34 appropriations-related bills filed for consideration by the Joint Committees on Appropriations and Budget (JCAB).

One of those bills was scheduled to be considered Wednesday, SB1046, a measure intended to fund the first stage of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s SoonerCare 2.0 plan. The bill’s proposed committee substitute language defines the term “newly eligible Medicaid population” to mean those individuals over age 18 and under age 65 whose income does not exceed 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level guidelines and whose coverage is eligible for enhanced federal financial participation. It requires the Supplemental Hospital Offset Payment Program (SHOPP) fee include an amount fixed at 0.95 percent for state fiscal year 2021 to fund the nonfederal portion of the newly eligible Medicaid population after accounting for all revenues identified by the Legislature. The bill requires the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to, within 60 days of the effective date of the bill, re-determine the assessment amount to include the nonfederal portion of the newly eligible Medicaid population for state fiscal year 2021 only. It specifies that $7.5 million transferred each quarter by the authority be used to fund the nonfederal portion of the existing Medicaid population. It requires $18.8 million be transferred each quarter to fund the nonfederal portion of the newly eligible Medicaid population enrolled on or after July 1, 2020. The bill requires, within 60 days of the effective date of the bill, that the authority send notices of the re-determined assessment amount including the nonfederal portion of the newly eligible Medicaid population for state fiscal year 2021 only.

The bill, however, was not heard. Sen. Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate JCAB said Wednesday work on the bill was continuing.

“We are going to work on it a little more,” Thompson said Wednesday.

Thompson indicated the disagreement centered on the SHOPP fee. Thompson said the Senate remained at 3.25 percent, a combination of the 2.3 percent general rate and the 0.95 percent special rate for the newly eligible Medicaid population. “We don’t plan to go higher,” he said.

Stitt said in his state of the state speech that he wanted the House and the Senate to send to my desk legislation to give certainty that the Oklahoma Health Care Authority can use the full 4 percent of the SHOPP assessment to fund his Medicaid plan. Because it is the Legislature’s second session, not all of the bills are on House or Senate general order. In the case of those carried over from the 2019 session, some already are in committees of the opposite chamber, awaiting possible consideration. Others are awaiting eCapitol News consideration of amendments from the opposite house.

At this point in 2018, the Second Session of the 56th Legislature, approximately 1,120 measures remained available for consideration. Stitt already has signed one bill, HB1230. The bill, by Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore and Sen. Darrell Weaver, R-Moore, requires the State Department of Education to list on its website all accrediting associations approved by the State Board of Education to take part in the Lindsey Nichole Henry Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program. Stitt signed the bill Feb. 25. It takes effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die since it lacked both an effective date and an emergency clause. The deadline for bills to be heard in their chamber of origin is March 12.

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Article Credentials – “ eCapitol News”

Author: Shawn Ashley

Date: 03/02/2020

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