HB497 received final passage from both the House of Representatives and the State Senate, and every vote – both in House and Senate committees and on the House and Senate floors – were UNANIMOUS! When the legislature returns on March 29th-30th, the House can bring HB497 up for a final vote, (for concurrence in the Senate Committee Substitute), and once it has reached this final procedural approval, it can make its way to the Governor’s desk for signature.
This is fantastic legislation, sponsored by Representative Moser, that creates critically needed reentry supports for Kentuckians returning to their communities after incarceration. The reentry package includes work supports in the form of photo IDs and employability certificates. It also removes barriers to Medicaid coverage and SUD treatment. This bill will be an absolute game-changer in offering Kentuckians a wrap-around service when they are reentering their communities throughout the state.
KVH partnered with the ACLU-KY, KyPolicy, and Kentucky Equal Justice Center on a sign-on letter to voice our support for this bill. When a final letter was shared with the State Senate on Monday, March 15th, 63 organizations had signed on. Thank you to everyone who joined us in supporting HB497!
Remaining Days of #kyga21 Snapshot
There are only TWO official calendar days left for the 2021 General Assembly to conduct business on the House and Senate floor – March 29th-30th. Sine Die Adjournment is March 30, 2021.
Although the legislature was in town only two days this week, and two days last week, a tremendous amount of business was conducted, including the passage of the 2021 executive branch budget (HB192). The state’s budget is an ethical document, it reflects the morals of a government’s policies. In Gov. Beshear’s initially proposed budget to the legislature, his Administration fully funded Medicaid, added 76 new social workers at the Cabinet for Health & Family Services, increased the number of slots available in the Michelle P. Waivers and Supports for Community Living (SCL), as well as a number of other forward-thinking, forward-funding health equity measures.
Unfortunately, in the bill’s final form, the Kentucky General Assembly removed or decreased many of these line-items.
The legislature’s budget removed in full:
- $7M in funding for 76 new social workers
- $3.4M in funding for additional slots in the Michelle P. Waivers and SCLs
- $1M in funding for Medicaid enrollment initiatives in 2021 that would help our most underrepresented populations gain access to healthcare
- $12M in funding that was supposed to have been designated to our local health departments who have been historically underinvested
- $73M in funding for retiree health insurance for the under-65 retired teachers population through KTRS
Stay up to date with bills we are tracking on our KVH Health Justice Bill Tracker HERE, and for a comprehensive bill tracker of legislation before the 2021 General Assembly and other legislative updates, please see the Kentucky Equal Justice Center’s General Assembly page HERE.
REMINDER: Session live-feed can be accessed on the LRC webpage, the Legislature’s YouTube Channel, or via www.ket.org/legislature. The calendar for Part 2 of the 2021 Regular Session can be viewed HERE.