Governor Gretchen Whitmer released her Fiscal Year 2020 Executive Budget recommendations on March 5 before a joint session of the Michigan House and Senate Appropriations Committees. Much of her presentation of the $60.2 billion budget focused on increased funding for infrastructure projects, including fixing the state's crumbling roads and ensuring Michiganders have safe drinking water, as well as education and career readiness initiatives.
Her recommended budget includes total ongoing funding of $25.9 billion ($4.7 billion General Fund) for Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, as well as $237.4 million in one-time funding ($71.6 million General Fund). This reflects a $52.9 million ($40.3 million General Fund) cut from the department's Fiscal Year 2019 budget. Included in the reductions are:
- MiDOCS reduced by $3.7 million: This reduction is intended to bring the budget in line with the actual number of participants, as participation in the inaugural year of the medical residency program was lower than expected. The governor proposes continuing to fund this program at $1.3 million.
- Rural hospital payments reduced by $3 million: Grant funding for eligible rural hospitals was reduced to $7 million.
- Hospice services reduced by $3.3 million: Eliminates state funding for non-Medicare certified facilities that are not eligible for Medicaid reimbursement.
Other MDHHS funding highlights in the governor's budget proposal include $13.9 million to assist in environmental and public health hazard response, $7 million for the State Innovation Model, as well as $71.5 million (General Fund) for the Healthy Michigan Plan (HMP). This includes funding to cover increased HMP state match requirements, which will increase from 7% to a permanent 10% on January 1, 2020. An additional $10 million is proposed to help ensure that HMP beneficiaries impacted by the state's new work requirements will have access to employment support and other resources. "The Administration is committed to working with the legislature to make improvements to current work requirement provisions scheduled to become effective in 2020 in order to support and encourage work for enrollees while simplifying procedures and reducing compliance burdens."
With Governor Whitmer's budget targets released, House and Senate appropriators will now get to work on their own measures, keeping in sight the traditional budget completion target of early June.