The Massachusetts Legislature's Conference Committee released their $40.2 billion dollar FY18 budget proposal late last Friday. The budget is now in front of Governor Baker. He has 10 days to issue vetoes (cut funding or eliminate language). The FY18 budget proposal then goes back to the Legislature who can override vetoes with a two-thirds vote.
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Happy 4th of July Weekend! Hoping you can take a moment between parades and cookouts to ponder not only what's great about this country, but also what is at risk. And remember, July 4th Parades are a WONDERFUL time to greet your elected officials as they march by, walk a block with them and encourage them to protect and strengthen the federal safety-net including SNAP.
On the national health reform front:
As widely reported yesterday, the U.S. Senate will not be taking a vote on it's "Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017" before the 4th of July recess, but as we know from the experience on the House --the fight is far from over. Please continue your good work:
Health Care for All: Protect Our Care Campaign: http://www.hcfama.
1. On Tuesday, Governor Baker asked the conference committee working out a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 to include language on an employer assessment that has been in the works since January. What has not gotten into the headlines: he also advanced a completely new proposal to cut MassHealth eligibility for non-disabled adults (primarily parents but also child-less adults) and authority to cut any optional benefits potentially affecting all MassHealth beneficiaries including children, people with disabilities and the elderly.
This is a quick reminder that the Boston SNAP Coalition meeting is Tuesday, June 27th from 10 to Noon at St Francis House in Boston
The AGENDA will include:
Update on Federal/Congressional proposals around SNAP and federal nutrition programs; strategies to protect and strengthen SNAP**
Update on State FY18 budget and Conference Committee, and pending legislation
Recent press on impact of federal SNAP cuts on Massachusetts:
In case you missed it, here is some very recent press on the potential impact of the President's proposed cuts to SNAP on the Commonwealth and the nation.
We're writing to give you some updates on issues we've Â been tracking closely including the exciting Massachusetts HIP program.
Effective July 1st, MassHealth has ended its CMSP contract with UniCare and will be administering the program in-house. See attached Provider Transmittal.
Also see CMSP Parent/Guardian notice which was mailed last week to parents and guardians of CMSP members
Over 55% of the Massachusetts SNAP caseload includes seniors and persons with severe disabilities. DTA's May 2017 Performance Scorecard confirms:
752 Massachusetts residents (individuals) currently receive SNAP.
270K are persons with disabilities under age 60 - which means they receive SSI, Social Security or MassHealth as severely disabled.
The Republican bill to repeal & replace Obamacare & gut Medicaid has dropped out of the headlines, but the danger is still very real.Â Today is a national call in day to Senators who may be asked Â to vote on the "American Health Care Act" (AHCA) before the end of June.