June 26, 2020—This week marked the final week of state legislative activity for most of the summer, with only a few session days scheduled for the end of July and one in August. The month of September and the first week in October are scheduled for full legislative activity as well.
Traditionally, many legislators use the summer recess to host and attend in-district events, as well as campaign before the primary election. This year's primary election is coming up on August 4. Summer 2020 undoubtedly looks very different, as many events have been postponed or cancelled.
As legislators head to their home districts, the largest outstanding item on the legislative agenda is the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 state budget, which must be approved prior to Oct. 1. The state is facing a large deficit for both the remainder of the current and next fiscal year, nearing $3 billion for each. The Legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer are awaiting to hear what funding supports will be provided by the federal government before they set spending levels for Michigan.
MAFP continues to advocate for investing in primary care workforce initiatives, including MIDOCS and the Michigan State Loan Repayment Program, both which increase access to healthcare by supporting healthcare providers in underserved and rural communities. Additionally, MAFP is continuing to advocate for Senate Bill 612, which aims to bring consistency and transparency to the prior authorization process. This bill received multiple legislative committee hearings before COVID-19 altered the legislative calendar.