Update on Both Houses

With one week to go in the legislative session, this is where we’re at:

Senate Bill 279

SB 279 is still in the Senate Judiciary Committee and is once again on the agenda, for Monday, March 11. The committee will meet in Room 321 after the Senate floor session ends.

There's so much going on, and we know it's very frustrating to take the time to come to the committee meetings and sit for hours without the bill being heard. 

If it's convenient for you to come on Monday (and wait!), please do so. Otherwise, at this point in the session, it's probably more important for the bill to be heard quickly than for the committee to hear lots of testimony in person. Thanks to all your phone calls, the Senate Judiciary Committee knows very well how much public support this bill has! 

House Bill 295

House Bill 295 was tabled last week in the House Appropriations & Finance Committee--along with a lot of other bills, and without a hearing. 

We asked for calls last week to the House Appropriations chair, Rep. Lundstrom, and the Speaker of the House to encourage the chair to re-release the bill to the House floor. It was on the House floor in the first place because the chair had previously released it from her committee. (Bills that are tabled can also be untabled and heard in committee.) 

While you flooded Rep. Lundstrom and House Speaker Egolf with calls, HB 295 has not, at this time, been either released or heard. 

However, funds for the fiscal analysis of the Health Security Plan are included in HB 548, commonly known as HB2 junior. This supplementary budget bill contains a lot of funding for different projects, and $275,000 has been set aside for the Legislative Finance Committee to complete the fiscal analysis. 

Additional funds have been set aside in the Senate's version of HB2 junior. We've been told $125,000 is in the Senate bill for the analysis, but we are waiting to see the actual bill when it's available. The 2019 Health Security Act originally included an appropriation of $375,000 for the fiscal analysis. Now it looks like there is a total of $400,000 to cost out the Health Security Plan!