Dismantling unintentional bias

suban nur cooley 88 by 132How many able-bodied individuals ever consider that the mere existence of escalators is a form of unintentional bias?

john a. powell*, director of the University of California-Berkley Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society was quick to point out in his morning plenary at the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance’s (LEDA) Summit on Race and Inclusion on May 21 – the inventor likely didn’t have anything against people who cannot use escalators, but nonetheless, the implicit bias is there.

“Having bias doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you human,” powell added. “We all have bias. The problem is when it impacts our explicit behavior … impair[ing] our work, family, society and goals, it becomes a problem.” (more…)

MLive: Michigan minimum wage debate: House panel cuts increase, removes inflation language

Michigan’s minimum wage would increase to $8.50 per hour under the latest proposal up for debate in the state Legislature. May 27, 2014 — MLive

Statement: Minimum wage increase doesn’t go far enough

Contact: Judy Putnam at (517) 410-5798

Approval of minimum wage increase is encouraging but $10.10 an hour proposal deserves vote

The Michigan League for Public Policy released the following statement after the House voted Tuesday to increase the minimum wage to $9.25 by 2018. Gov. Snyder signed the legislation this evening. The statement may be attributed to League President & CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs.

(more…)

State budget balancing act

As Michigan lawmakers head off to Mackinac Island for the annual Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce policy conference, they are scrambling to resolve several big ticket issues that have slowed down the budget process and could reduce the amount of money available for services critical to our state’s economic development.

First is how best to fund much-needed improvements in Michigan roads, bridges and public transit. The governor wants at least $1.3 billion a year for improvements while some think that isn’t enough. There is little controversy that something needs to be done, but much disagreement on how to pay for it. (more…)

Preschool Boosted, Per-Pupil Funding Increased in Education Budgets Signed by Governor

The final Fiscal Year 2015 budgets for School Aid and the Department of Education contain another $65 million increase for preschool programs for at-risk 4-year-olds, a small boost in the statutory minimum K-12 per-pupil foundation allowance and equity payments for districts and public school academies receiving the lowest state payments. Funding was also included to partially restore some educational and child care programs that were cut during the worst of the state’s decade long recession.

Despite small increases in the per-pupil allotment during the last several years, state payments to public schools and academies have failed to keep up with increased costs. Over the last decade, the minimum foundation allowance increased by 7.3%, while the Detroit Consumer Price Index increased by 19.4%.1

There are 48 Michigan school districts and public school academies operating with deficits, and many others warn that they will face financial distress if current funding trends continue. Minimum per-pupil payments peaked in Fiscal Year 2009 before being cut by a total of $470. With the increase in Fiscal Year 2015, minimum per-pupil payments will still fall below 2009 levels—without accounting for inflation.

Per-Pupil Foundation Allowance

Governor:

  • Includes $150 million for an increase in the foundation allowance of between $83 and $111 per pupil. Under the governor’s budget, the minimum per-pupil allowance would be $7,187, and the maximum guaranteed amount would be $8,132. Much of the cost of increasing the per-pupil payment next year is offset by the governor’s recommendation to shift funding for current equity payments to districts with lower foundation allowances ($36 million) to the foundation allowance, along with expected decreases in the number of students and increases in local taxable values.
  • Recommends continuation funding ($46.4 million) for districts based on their performance on four standards. Districts can currently receive up to $100 per pupil, including $30 per pupil for academic growth in math in grades 3-8, $30 per pupil for growth in reading in grades 3-8, and $40 per pupil for growth in all high school tested subjects. After release of the budget, the administration determined that full funding for eligible districts would require an additional $4.7 million for total funding of $51.1 million in Fiscal Year 2015.
  • Recommends continuation funding of $80 million for grants of up to $52 per pupil for districts that meet seven of eight best practices criteria by June 1, 2015.

House:

  • Includes $141 million to increase the per-pupil foundation allowance by between $56 and $112, with the minimum foundation allowance at $7,188 and the maximum guaranteed level (basic allowance) at $8,105. The House assumes that the expected changes in baseline costs projected by the governor—from a decline in the number of students, increases in local taxable values, and the transfer of funds from the current equity payment—would cover over $115 million of the total $141 million increase.
  • Includes new budget language reallocating up to $35 million from any funds that are determined by May 1, 2015 to be unspent due to declining enrollments to districts with at least 1.2% fewer students than the prior year, provided that the districts are not in deficit.
  • Increases funding for school district performance grants by 10% to reflect actual need, from the current level of $46.4 million to $51.1 million.
  • Reduces funding for district best practices grants by $1.3 million (1.6%) to a total of $78.7 million, and changes the best practices criteria. The House retains the requirement that districts act as policy holders for healthcare services benefits, competitively bid at least one noninstructional service, participate in schools of choice, and provide financial, achievement testing and other school data to the public through a dashboard. Deleted are criteria encouraging districts to measure student growth twice annually, provide dual enrollment and online learning opportunities, and offer physical education or health education. The House adds requirements related to school employee compensation and collective bargaining, and implementation of the Michigan Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling program.

Senate:

  • Increases the maximum (basic) per-pupil foundation allowance by $150, and the minimum by $300 per pupil. The increases are partially funded through the elimination of best practices grants to districts ($80 million) and performance grants ($46.4 million), as well as the distribution of $100 million in Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System (MPSERS) grants through the per-pupil allowance. Under the Senate budget, the minimum grant would be $7,376, and the maximum (basic) $8,199.
  • Includes $31 million for a minimum “hold harmless” increase for districts of $75 per pupil, reflecting the fact that the loss of best practices, performance and MPSERS grants will affect districts differently.
  • Agrees with the governor to roll $36 million in funding authorized in the current year budget for equity payments into the base funding for per-pupil payments.
  • Provides $32.4 million for a new Education Reserve Fund to pay for budget supplementals or other items in future budgets. Legislative action would be required to spend from the fund.

Final Budget:

  • Includes $177 million for increases in the K-12 per-pupil foundation allowance. Districts will receive a minimum of $50 per pupil, and those receiving less per pupil now could receive up to $125 per pupil from a new equity payment, for a total possible increase of $175 per pupil. The minimum payment in 2015 will be $7,251, with the basic allowance set at $8,099. The $50 minimum per-pupil increase fell significantly below the recommendations of the governor, as well as the House and Senate-passed bills.
  • Increases funding for school district performance grants by $4.7 million or 10% to a total of $51.1 million to reflect actual need based on student assessments. Criteria for receiving performance funding are not changed.
  • Reduces the amount of money school districts can receive for meeting best practices criteria from $52 to $50 per pupil, lowering overall funding from $80 million to $75 million. The final budget also adopts most of the changes in best practices recommended by the House, with two exceptions: (1) the final budget retains the current standard that districts provide online learning; and (2) a new standard is added to encourage districts to offer one credit of foreign language in grades K-8. To receive funding, districts must meet seven of the nine revised standards.

Funding and Intervention for School Districts in Fiscal Distress

Governor:

  • Proposes $10 million for a new fund for emergency grants to school districts in financial distress. The fund would be for districts that are either facing dissolution, or have accepted children from districts that have dissolved.
  • Revises the process for identifying and managing school districts facing deficits, including a requirement for immediate notification to the Michigan Department of Education, timelines for reporting and planning, guidelines for district or Intermediate School District financial recovery agreements with the State Treasurer, and authority for the Michigan Department of Education to withhold some or all state funding as an incentive to districts to eliminate deficits or develop acceptable deficit elimination plans.

House:

  • Agrees with the governor and appropriates $10 million for districts in fiscal distress.
  • Retains current law regarding the management of districts facing deficits.

Senate:

  • Rejects the governor’s proposed distressed school district emergency fund.
  • Agrees with the governor on changes in the management of districts facing deficits and requirements for enhanced deficit elimination plans.

Final Budget:

  • Appropriates $4 million for a new Distressed Districts Emergency Grant Fund—down from the governor’s and Senate’s recommendation of $10 million. Funds can be used by districts that are voluntarily dissolving, or those that receive students from a dissolved district.
  • Rejects the governor’s proposed changes in the process for identifying and managing school districts facing deficits. Under current law, which will be continued next year, districts or Intermediate School Districts that have deficits cannot receive payments until the Michigan Department of Education approves a deficit elimination plan that erases the deficit within two years.

At Risk Programs

Governor:

  • Recommends continuation funding of $309 million for the At Risk Program, which is available to school districts for a range of instructional and noninstructional services for at-risk students.
  • Proposes significant changes in the allocation and use of At Risk funds, including:

— Establishing two goals for the use of funds: (1) reading proficiency by the end of third grade; and (2) graduation rates, and career and college readiness. Districts that cannot show success toward those goals after three years must reallocate funds and revise their plans.

—  Allowing funds to be used to implement reforms in schools with 40% or more of pupils identified as at-risk—consistent with the local School Improvement Plan.

— Maintaining the current formula for distributing funds, which is based on the number of pupils qualifying for free or reduced meals, but redefining “at risk” students as those who meet any of the following criteria: (1) are enrolled in priority schools; (2) are enrolled in “focus schools” which are in the bottom 30% of achievement; or (3) did not achieve a proficient score on two or more state or locally administered assessments. In the absence of assessment data, the pupil must meet at least two of the following: (1) eligible for free- or reduced-price meals; (2) absent more than 10 school days during the year, or 10% of enrolled days; (3) homeless; (4) migrant; (5) English language learner; (6) immigrant; or (7) did not complete high school in four years and is still enrolled.

House:

  • Agrees with the governor and provides $309 million—continuation funding—for the At Risk Program.
  • Accepts the governor’s changes in the goals of the At Risk Program, including reading proficiency by the end of third grade, and assuring that high school graduates are career and college ready.
  • Accepts the governor’s new definition of an at-risk student.
  • Retains several current potential uses of At Risk funding, including early childhood programs, reading programs and adult education, and retains language prohibiting the use of funds to supplant other program funding.
  • Concurs with the governor in allowing At Risk funds to be used for school-wide reforms in schools where 40% or more of the students are at-risk.

Senate:

  • Agrees with the governor by providing continuation funding for the At Risk Program.
  • Rejects the governor’s proposed changes to the goals and allocation of At Risk dollars.
  • Rejects the governor’s changes in the definition of an at-risk pupil.
  • Rejects the governor’s proposal to allow districts to use the funds for school-wide reforms in high-risk schools.

Final Budget:

  • Provides continuation funding of $309 million for the At Risk Program, with the allocation of funding based on the current formula, which is 11.5% of each district’s foundation allowance times the number of pupils who qualify for free school meals.
  • Adopts the governor’s proposal that At Risk funds be used to ensure that third grade students are proficient in reading by the end of third grade, and that high school graduates are career and college ready.
  • Concurs with the governor to provide districts with greater flexibility by eliminating some specified uses of At Risk dollars, and by allowing districts to use At Risk funds for school-wide reforms consistent with their School Improvement Plans, if more than 40% of the students are at-risk.
  • Expands the definition of “at-risk pupil” to include both the governor’s proposed language and the definition in current law.
  • Adds new language that districts that do not have at least 50% of at-risk third graders reading at grade level, or have failed to show improvements over three years in the percentage of at-risk pupils who are college- and career-ready, must spend a share of half of their At Risk funds on either tutoring and third grade reading, or activities to improve college and career readiness.

Child and Adolescent Health Centers

Governor:

  • Recommends continuation funding of $3.56 million for child and adolescent health centers.

House:

  • Concurs with the governor.

Senate:

  • Concurs with the governor.

Final Budget:

  • Includes continuation funding of $3.56 million for child and adolescent health centers.

Hearing and Vision Screenings

Governor:

  • Recommends continuation funding for hearing and vision screenings at $5.2 million.

House:

  • Concurs with the governor.

Senate:

  • Concurs with the governor.

Final Budget:

  • Includes continuation funding of $5.2 million for hearing and vision screenings.

Early Childhood Education and Care

Governor:

  • Preschool Programs: The governor increases funding for the Great Start Readiness Program by another $65 million, after a $65 million increase in the current year—the largest dollar and service expansion in the United States. The governor’s proposal creates another 16,000 half-day slots for 4-year-olds, and brings total funding to $239.6 million in Fiscal Year 2015. The governor also:

— Increases the per-slot payment by $100, from $3,625 to $3,725.

— Includes budget language that allows Intermediate School Districts to enroll children from families with incomes of up to 300% of poverty if they can determine that all children at or below 250% of poverty are being served, and there is no waiting list. The highest-need children must be enrolled first. Homeless children, children in foster care, and those in special education inclusive preschool programs are eligible regardless of family income. Currently, Intermediate School Districts must ensure that 90% of the children in the program are from families earning 250% of poverty or less.

  • Early Childhood Block Grant: The governor provides continuation funding of $10.9 million for block grants to Intermediate School Districts for early childhood programs for children from birth through age 8. Funds are to be used in part to convene local Great Start Collaboratives and Parent Coalitions.
  • Child Care: The governor increases funding for child care subsidies for low-income families by $10.6 million (8%)—from $136.3 million to $146.9 million. New funds are to be used to:

— Increase the maximum allowable reimbursable hours for subsidized child care from 80 to 90 hours in a two-week period, recognizing parents need to travel to work and child care settings ($6.9 million). The increase in the number of reimbursable hours was adopted this fiscal year with the appropriation of $3.5 million in a supplemental budget bill.

— Increase reimbursement rates to higher quality child care providers, based on the state’s Great Start to Quality rating system. Providers with three, four and five star ratings would see progressively higher hourly reimbursements rates ($3.7 million). The tiered reimbursement system was also adopted in the current fiscal year with the appropriation of $1.8 million in a supplemental budget bill.

House:

  • Preschool Programs:

— Agrees with the governor and increases the Great Start Readiness Program by an additional $65 million. However, places $25 million of that increase in a GSRP reserve fund, making funding available to districts if sufficient slots are filled before Jan. 31, 2015 (a similar fund was created in the current year).

— Maintains the current requirement that at least 90% of the children enrolled in a GSRP are from families with incomes of 250% of poverty or less; but includes the new language making homeless children, or those in foster care or inclusive special education preschool settings, eligible regardless of family income.

— Rejects the governor’s recommendation to increase the per-slot grant by $100.

— Earmarks $10 million of total GSRP spending for reimbursements of up to $150 per slot for transportation costs.

— Adds budget language requiring Intermediate School Districts to report on their progress in contracting 30% of their GSRP funds to private agencies, and provides penalties for those that fail to demonstrate efforts to do so.

  • Early Childhood Block Grant:

— Concurs with the governor on funding for the Early Childhood Block Grant.

  • Child Care:

— Agrees with the governor by increasing funding for child care subsidies for low-income families by $10.6 million to a total of $146.9 million.

— Agrees with the governor to increase the maximum allowable reimbursable hours for subsidized child care from 80 to 90 hours in a two-week period.

— Agrees with the governor to increase reimbursement rates to higher quality child care providers, based on the state’s Great Start to Quality rating system.

Senate:

  • Preschool Programs:

— Agrees with the governor and increases the Great Start Readiness Program by an additional $65 million.

— Includes the governor’s budget language allowing Intermediate School Districts to enroll children from families with incomes of up to 300% of poverty if they can determine that all children at or below 250% of poverty are being served, and there is no waiting list. Also includes eligibility for homeless children, or children in foster care or preprimary special education regardless of income.

— Increases the per-slot grant by $50 to $3,675.

— Agrees with the House and earmarks $10 million of the total GSRP spending for reimbursements of up to $150 per-slot for transportation costs.

  • Early Childhood Block Grant:

— Concurs with the governor on funding for the Early Childhood Block Grant.

  • Child Care:

— Concurs with the governor and House on total child care subsidy funding of $146.9 million, including a $10.6 million increase to expand hours of care and create a tiered provider reimbursement payment system.

Final Budget:

  • Preschool Programs: For Fiscal Year 2015, an additional $65 million was approved for the Great Start Readiness Program, bringing total funding to $239.6 million. With these funds, an additional 16,000 half-day slots will be available for at-risk 4-year-olds. Because Michigan law allows districts to combine slots to create full-day programs, an estimated 10,000 new children could be enrolled. In addition, the final budget:

— Does not include the governor’s increase in the per-slot grant by $100 to $3,725.

— Allows $10 million (of the total funding) to be used for transportation costs of up to $150 per half-day slot.

— Establishes a $25 million reserve fund for GSRP, with funds made available for services for at-risk 4-year-olds if the slots can be filled and the Legislature approves the expenditure by Dec. 15, 2014.

— Includes the governor’s changes in eligibility, allowing children from families with incomes of up to 300% of poverty to be enrolled if Intermediate School Districts can demonstrate that all children at or below 250% of poverty are being served and there is no waiting list. The highest-need children must be enrolled first; and homeless children, children in foster care, and those in special education inclusive preschool programs are eligible regardless of family income.

— Includes House language requiring the Michigan Department of Education to reduce the number of preschool slots an Intermediate School District receives if it fails to submit evidence that it attempted to contract 30% of its total slots to community-based organizations. Timelines for quality assessments of community organizations through the state’s Great Start to Quality rating system are also established.

— Maintains language requiring Intermediate School Districts to establish a tuition sliding scale for the preschool program for families with incomes above 250% of poverty.

  • Early Childhood Block Grant:

— Includes continuation funding of $10.9 million for the early childhood block grant provided to Intermediate School Districts.

  • Child Care:

— Continues cuts in funding for subsidized child care, but increases funding for quality improvements and hours of care. The final budget includes $6.9 million to increase the maximum allowable reimbursable hours of subsidized child care from 80 hours to 90 hours in a two-week period, as well as $3.7 million to increase reimbursement rates to higher quality child care providers, based on the state’s Great Start to Quality rating system. Both changes were implemented through a supplemental budget bill this year. Michigan once provided child care for up to 100 hours in a two-week period, and many states have no caps if care is needed to work or train for jobs.

— Child care cases and costs are expected to continue to drop, with total funding for the child care subsidy program falling from $136.3 million to $110.3 million—a drop of 19% in just one year.

Bilingual Education

Governor:

  • Provides continuation funding of $1.2 million for bilingual education.
  • Removes current budget language prohibiting reimbursements to school districts that serve children who are not legal residents of the United States.

House:

  • Agrees with the governor to appropriate continuation funding for bilingual education.
  • Retains current budget language prohibiting payments for instruction for children who are not residing in the United States legally.

Senate:

  • Appropriates continuation funding for bilingual education.
  • Agrees with the House subcommittee to retain current budget language prohibiting payments for children who are not residing in the United States legally.

Final Budget:

  • Includes continuation funding of $1.2 million for bilingual education.
  • Includes the governor’s recommendation to remove current budget language prohibiting reimbursements to school districts that serve children who are not legal residents of the United States.

Adult Education

Governor:

  • Provides continuation funding of $22 million for adult education. Michigan has decreased state funding for adult education drastically in the past 20 years, from $185 million in 1996 to $22 million this year.
  • Proposes significant changes in the allocation method for adult education funds, including:

— Funds would be allocated to Intermediate School Districts serving as fiscal agents in each of the 10 “Prosperity Regions” identified by the Michigan Department of Education.

— In Fiscal Year 2015, 67% of the funds would be provided to Intermediate School Districts based on the proportion of total funding formerly received by the adult education providers in that region. The remaining funds (33%) would be divided based on new criteria that relate to the percentage of high school graduates and English language proficiency. By Fiscal Year 2017, all funds would be allocated based on the new formula.

House:

  • Agrees with the governor to provide continuation funding of $22 million for adult education.
  • Agrees with the governor to revise the adult education allocation method and formula.
  • Adds language prohibiting Intermediate School Districts from using the funds for administrative costs associated with serving as the fiscal agent.

Senate:

  • Agrees with the governor to provide continuation funding of $22 million for adult education.
  • Rejects the governor’s new allocation method and formula.

Final Budget:

  • Provides continuation funding of $22 million for adult education, down from $185 million in 1996.
  • Includes a new method for allocating adult education funds based on 10 “Prosperity Regions,” with Intermediate School Districts serving as fiscal agents. Funding through Prosperity Regions would be phased in, with all funds allocated through the new formula by Fiscal Year 2017. The new formula is based on criteria relating to the percentage of high school graduates and English language proficiency.
  • Allows Intermediate School Districts to retain up to 5% for administrative costs, which could reduce money going directly to programs by up to 5% in each Prosperity Region.
  • Requires the Michigan Department of Education to ensure that in Fiscal Year 2015, adult education services will be provided to at least as many persons as are served in the current fiscal year.
  • Provides up to $2,850 for each full-time adult education student, with providers receiving payments based 75% on enrollment and 25% on successful completion (currently 90% enrollment and 10% completion).

Dual Enrollment Incentives

Governor:

  • Includes $1.75 million for new incentives for school districts that support dual enrollment. Districts can receive up to $30 for each pupil enrolling in a course at an eligible postsecondary institution ($10 per credit hour), with an additional $30 provided if the pupil successfully completes the course and is awarded both high school and postsecondary credit.

House:

  • Concurs with the governor.

Senate:

  • Concurs with the governor, and makes concurrent enrollment programs eligible for funding.

Final Budget:

  • Includes $1.75 million recommended by the governor for new incentives for school districts offering dual enrollment.
  • Expands the incentives to concurrent enrollment programs.

Year-Around School Pilot Projects

Governor:

  • Includes $2 million for year-around school pilot projects in school districts that are eligible for the community eligibility option for free and reduced price lunches.

House:

  • Concurs with the governor to provide $2 million for year-around school pilot projects, but provides for a maximum award per district of $750,000.
  • Adds criteria for the selection of pilot districts.

Senate:

  • Concurs with the governor on funding, but limits any individual grant to $250,000.

Final Budget:

Despite support by the governor, House and Senate in their 2015 budgets, the final budget does not include $2 million for year-around school pilot projects in school districts that are eligible for the community eligibility option for free and reduced price lunches.

Endnote:

  1. Jeffries, E., K-12 School Minimum Foundation Allowance, State Budget Overview, Senate Fiscal Agency (May 27, 2014).

Senator’s claim smells fishy

Two out of the last three times the minimum wage was raised, Michigan’s unemployment rate decreased in the years that followed.

That indisputable fact makes a recent claim from state Sen. Pat Colbeck, R- Canton, surprising.

The Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News reported last week the senator’s assertion that raising the minimum wage will decrease the rate of employment “every time.” This false claim needs to be corrected. (more…)

House and Senate approve FY 2015 budget for DCH

Full report in PDF

Both the Michigan House and Senate have approved their respective versions of the Department of Community Health budget for Fiscal Year 2015, which begins on Oct. 1, 2014. Their differences will now be reconciled by a joint House/Senate conference committee based on new revenue projections for Fiscal Year 2015. While each chamber supported many of the governor’s recommendations, both the House and Senate included a number of their own priorities, and exceeded the governor’s General Fund recommendation by nearly $98 million in the House and $120 million in the Senate.

The budget for the DCH is the state’s largest, growing by over 60% between Fiscal Years 2005 and 2014. Of note, the state General Fund investment has only increased 13% over the Fiscal Year 2005 appropriation. This year, federal funds make up nearly 69% of the DCH budget. The bulk of the funding is for the state’s Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan programs (74%), followed by mental health and substance use disorder services (18%).

The governor’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget includes many positive recommendations including full-year funding for the Healthy Michigan Plan, continued expansion of Healthy Kids Dental, continuation of half of the primary care provider rate increase, funding to begin implementation of the Mental Health and Wellness Commission recommendations, and restoration of funding for senior meals and services.

However, potential funding shortfalls for Medicaid health plan services, as well as the public mental health system, were identified in public testimony. The Executive Budget acknowledges a shortfall in the Health Insurance Claims Tax, but makes no recommendation to resolve it. These funds are used to match federal funds to provide Medicaid services. Both the House and Senate cover the shortfall with state funds in their respective budgets.

It is also troubling that the governor and Legislature continue the practice of taking ongoing program funding and reclassifying all of part of it as “one-time” funding as has been the practice with graduate medical education and other programs over the last several years. This strategy for budgeting creates confusion for not only the public, but also for those charged with administering the program when funding is volatile or eliminated from year to year.

The House concurs with the governor on full-year funding for the Healthy Michigan Plan, the Healthy Kids Dental expansion, continuation of the Medicaid primary care provider increase (but with lower funding than the governor), funding for the Mental Health and Wellness Commission recommendations, and funding to restore senior meals and services. The House includes initiatives related to diabetes prevention and pilot projects to support those with Alzheimer’s disease in their homes.

The Senate concurs with the governor on full-year funding for the Healthy Michigan Plan, the Healthy Kids Dental expansion, continuation of the Medicaid primary care provider increase, and funding to restore senior meals and services. The Senate continues the $4.3 million “one-time” funding for Graduate Medical Education, and restores funding for the Harper/Hutzel Hospital special payment. The Senate also adds numerous $100 placeholders for initiatives, restorations, and program enhancements, allowing continued discussion as the budget differences are resolved.

MEDICAID

Approximately one in every five Michigan residents is enrolled in Medicaid for their healthcare coverage, and more than half of all births in the state are paid for by the program. In each of the last three years, half of the children in the state have been covered by Medicaid as child poverty in Michigan continues to increase.

In the current fiscal year, the governor projects that 1.82 million Michigan residents will be covered by Medicaid, and recently set a target of enrolling 322,000 individuals in the Healthy Michigan Plan that opened for enrollment on April 1. Program enrollment is off to a great start with more than 259,000 individuals enrolled in the first seven weeks.

Governor’s Budget:

• Provides full-year funding of $2.2 billion, all federal funds, for the Healthy Michigan Plan, along with 36 new positions to administer the program. The Healthy Michigan Plan, championed by Gov. Snyder, provides comprehensive healthcare coverage to individuals with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level ($15,521 for an individual, $31,721 for a family of four).
• Recognizes state General Fund savings of over $243 million as a result of Michigan’s implementation of the Healthy Michigan Plan. The savings are realized because the state previously spent 100% state funds for limited services to very low-income uninsured individuals, and with the expansion, federal funds will be available to pay for services for this population. The governor recommends that half of the savings, or $122 million, be placed in a newly created Health Savings Fund that would ensure that the state has sufficient funds to cover future reductions in federal matching funds. Healthy Michigan Plan funding is 100% federal for calendar years 2014, 2015, and 2016. The federal funding declines during calendar years 2017- 2019, reaching 90% in 2020, where it remains.
• Includes $25.2 million for autism services, down from $35.2 million in the current year. The funding reduction is not a program reduction, but reflects a slow start-up for the program due to the need to develop provider capacity. To increase needed capacity, $3 million in continuing “one-time” funding– increased from $2 million in the current fiscal year–is recommended to train autism services providers through the creation of university autism centers. In Fiscal Year 2014, grants of $500,000 each are allocated to Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Central Michigan and Oakland universities. The Fiscal Year 2015 recommendation allocates $1 million each to Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan and Michigan State universities.
• Recommends $26 million in state funds, bringing in $49.4 million in federal funds, to continue approximately half of the rate increase for primary care providers. This rate increase, which brings Medicaid rates up to Medicare levels, is required by federal law in calendar years 2013 and 2014, and is 100% federally funded. In calendar year 2015, the rate increase is no longer required or 100% federally funded, so a state investment is required to continue.
• Eliminates $35.6 million in special payments for rural and sole community hospitals, saving $12 million in state General Fund. These funds were classified as “one-time” funding in Fiscal Year 2012, but converted to ongoing funding for Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014.

House:

• Concurs with the governor’s recommendation for full-year funding for the Healthy Michigan Fund, as well as the additional staff to administer the program, but creates a separate staffing line-item.
• Concurs with the governor on state General Fund savings of over $243 million as a result of implementation of the Healthy Michigan Plan.
• Concurs with the $10 million budget reduction in autism services, but does not concur with the recommended increase in university training funds. The House reduces the training funding from $2 million to $1.5 million in “one-time” grants, and specifies $500,000 in continuing grants to Eastern and Western Michigan universities and adds $500,000 for Michigan State University.
• Concurs with continuing a portion of the primary care provider rate increase, but recommends a lower level of funding — $21.4 million in state funds and $40.7 million in federal funds.
• Rejects the Executive recommendation to eliminate special payments to rural and sole community hospitals, and recommends continuation funding with a new mix of funds, including provider taxes and federal funds—maintaining the state General Fund savings proposed by the governor.

Senate:

• Concurs with the governor and the House on full-year funding and additional staffing, in a new line-item, for the Healthy Michigan Plan.
• Concurs with the governor and the House on state General Fund savings of over $243 million from implementation of the Healthy Michigan Plan.
• Concurs with the $10 million budget reduction in autism services, and recommends that $4 million from the Autism Coverage Fund be used to replace $4 million in General Fund. This would require a law change. The Senate also recommends increases rather than reductions in university training funds. The Senate restores funding of $500,000 each to Central Michigan and Oakland universities, concurs with the governor on the $1 million grants each to Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan and Michigan State universities, and adds $1.5 million for “autism navigators” to assist families in choosing treatment and services.
• Concurs with the governor on the primary care provider rate increase.
• Rejects the Executive recommendation to eliminate special payments for rural and sole community hospitals, and recommends continuation with the current financing of state and federal funds.

HEALTHY KIDS DENTAL

Michigan currently provides enhanced dental services to more than 500,000 children in 78 counties. Access to dental services is essential to prevent tooth decay, the NO. 1 chronic disease in children. Healthy Kids Dental improves access to care by partnering with Delta Dental of Michigan to increase provider reimbursement rates and simplify administration. With Michigan’s dismal ranking in the Race for Results for African American children, expanding Healthy Kids Dental to the remaining counties presents a tremendous public policy opportunity.


Governor’s Budget:

• Includes $5.4 million in state General Fund and $10.3 million in federal funds to expand the Healthy Kids Dental program to an additional 100,000 children in Kalamazoo and Macomb counties. With that expansion, the program would cover over 611,000 children in 80 of 83 Michigan counties. Not yet covered are more than 400,000 children in three of the most populated Michigan counties that are the home to many low-income children and children of color, including Wayne, Oakland and Kent counties.


House:

• Concurs with the governor and makes no recommendation to expand Healthy Kids Dental to the remaining counties.

Senate:

• Concurs with the governor and the House on Healthy Kids Dental funding and makes no recommendation to expand the program to the remaining counties.

MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES

Since Fiscal Year 2005, Medicaid-related mental health spending has increased by over 50%, while non-Medicaid spending has decreased, leaving thousands of residents without needed services. Funding for substance use disorder services increased by 12%, largely because of increases in federal funding, but fewer individuals were served in Fiscal Year 2013 than in the previous 9 years, despite the growing problem with heroin and other opiate addictions.

Governor’s Budget:

• Supports the Healthy Michigan Plan, and with the expansion of Medicaid eligibility, enrolled individuals will also have access to comprehensive mental health and substance use disorder services. Again, great concern has been raised about the adequacy of the funding to provide the promised services.
• Recommends $15.6 million in state General Fund, $5 million of which is “one-time” funding, to begin implementation of the recommendations of the Mental Health and Wellness Commission, which released its recommendations for improvements in mental health services in January 2014.
• Recommends $3.4 million in state General Fund for the Mental Health Diversion Council to treat those with mental illness or developmental disabilities in settings other than the criminal justice system. Additional funding of $2.7 million is included in the Judiciary and Corrections budgets.

House:

• Concurs with the Executive recommendation to expand mental health and substance use disorder services through the Healthy Michigan Plan.
• Concurs with the governor on $15.6 million in state funding to implement Mental Health and Wellness Commission recommendations, and also adds potential federal funding (yet to be identified), to increase programming capacity by $22 million.
• Concurs with the governor and adds $3.4 million in state General Fund for the Mental Health Diversion Council.

Senate:

• Concurs with the governor and the House on expansion of services through the Healthy Michigan Plan, and also adds $4.8 million General Fund for community mental health non-Medicaid services.
• Adds $100 placeholders for additional legislative discussions on expanded funding to implement the recommendations of the Mental Health and Wellness Commission.
• Includes a $100 placeholder for additional funding for the Mental Health Diversion Council.

PUBLIC HEALTH AND CHILDREN’S SERVICES

Nearly two of every three dollars spent on public health services is federal. Over the last decade, nearly all increases in total public health funding have been from federal grants or other sources, while state funding has remained essentially flat.

Governor’s Budget:

• Recommends continuation funding of $39.4 million for local public health services. Appropriations for local public health essential services, while increased by $2 million in Fiscal Year 2014, remain below the Fiscal Year 2005 appropriation.
• Includes $2.5 million in state funds to conduct a regional needs assessment and expand home visiting services to at-risk families with young children in rural areas in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Peninsula.
• Includes $2 million in “one-time” state funding for a pilot program to improve child and adolescent health services by working with two existing school-based clinics to identify satellite locations that will be serviced by mobile teams, increasing access to nursing and behavioral health services in schools.
• Increases the essential health provider program by $600,000 to reflect projected additional private revenue. This program assists primary care providers who practice in medically underserved areas with the repayment of their educational loans.

House:

• Provides a $1.5 million state General Fund increase for local public health services, bringing total funding to the level of the Fiscal Year 2005 appropriation.
• Concurs with the governor by adding $2.5 million for home visiting services in rural areas, but funds the expansion with federal (TANF) funds, rather than state funds.
• Concurs with the governor on adding $2 million for a child and adolescent health services pilot program, but funds with federal (TANF) funds, rather than state funds.
• Concurs with the governor by increasing the essential health provider program by $600,000.

Senate:

• Includes a $100 placeholder for discussion of the House-recommended expansion of funding for local public health services.
• Concurs with the House by adding $2.5 million in federal TANF funds for home visiting services in rural areas, and also adds a $100 placeholder for a potential funding increase for evidence-based home visiting.
• Concurs with the House by adding $2 million in federal TANF funds for a child and adolescent health services pilot program.
• Concurs with the governor and House, adding $600,000 in private funds for the essential health provider program, and also adds $500,000 in state General Fund.

SERVICES FOR THE AGING

Governor’s Budget:

• Includes $5 million in state funds to help eliminate the waiting list of an estimated 4,500 seniors eligible for home-delivered meals ($1.8 million) and in-home services ($3.2 million) provided through Area Agencies on Aging around the state. With this increase in home-delivered meals, the reductions in funding over the last decade have been completely restored.
• Expands funding by $9 million in state funds, $17.2 million in federal funds, to eliminate the waiting list for the MIChoice program that provides in-home and community services to help seniors or those with disabilities remain in their homes rather than moving to nursing homes, serving an additional 1,250 individuals.
• Recommends the expansion of PACE (Programs for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) to more counties, expanding sites to Flint, Lansing, and Saginaw, with funding from corresponding savings in nursing home costs.

House:

• Concurs with the governor, adding $5 million for home-delivered meals and in-home services for seniors.
• Concurs with the governor by expanding the MIChoice program by $9 million in state funds and $17.2 million in federal funds.
• Concurs with the governor on the expansion of the PACE program.

Senate:

• Concurs with the governor and House, adding $5 million for home-delivered meals and in-home services for seniors.
• Concurs with the governor and House by expanding the MIChoice program by $9 million in state funds and $17.2 million in federal funds.
• Concurs with the governor and House on the expansion of the PACE program.

HOUSE INITIATIVES

Pregnancy and Parenting Support: The House adds $800,000 state General Fund to increase funding for the Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program to $1.5 million. The Senate adds $1.5 million state General Fund to increase funding for the Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program to $2.2 million. In addition, the Senate adds $100 placeholders for new or increased funding for fetal alcohol syndrome services and a program to reduce the smoking rate of pregnant women.

Diabetes Prevention: The House adds $150,000 state General Fund to increase diabetes prevention funding to $800,000. The Senate adds $150,100 state General Fund to increase diabetes prevention funding, and also to create a point of difference with the House.

Alzheimer Services: The House adds $150,000 state General Fund to establish a pilot program to provide more comprehensive services and supports to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease to enable them to remain in their homes as long as possible, delaying potential moves to long term care facilities. The Senate adds $150,100 state General Fund to support the above pilot program and create a point of difference. The Senate also adds a $100 placeholder for a pilot program in Branch County to increase services for those with Alzheimer’s disease.

SENATE INITIATIVES

Infant Mortality Reduction: The Senate adds $6.5 million state General Fund and the corresponding federal matching funds, $12.4 million, to restore the special payment to Harper/Hutzel Hospital related to infant mortality reduction. The Fiscal Year 2014 budget eliminated the payment, but a subsequent supplemental appropriation restored approximately half of the payment, or $3.4 million in state General Fund. The Senate recommends nearly full restoration.

Breast Cancer Screening and Services:
The Senate adds $1 million state General Fund for breast cancer screening and services.

Medicaid Provider Payments for Obstetrical Care:
The Senate adds $6.5 million state General Fund and the corresponding federal funds, $12.4 million, to increase Medicaid obstetrical payment rates to the amounts paid by Medicare.

 

 

Michigan Nightlight: Learning to Live with Little

Low-income families are not unmotivated. On the contrary, they are inventive, managing basic living expenses with few resources. What challenges do low-income families face and what internal and external supports keep them moving toward greater stability?  May 21, 2014 — Michigan Nightlight

House and Senate Approve Corrections FY 2015 Budget

Full Report in PDF

Both the House and Senate have approved their versions of the Fiscal Year 2015 budget for the Department of Corrections, and differences between the bills will now be resolved at a joint House/Senate conference committee.

The total DOC budget approved by the House is $2.04 billion, including $1.98 billion in state General Fund. This is a 0.1% ($2.5 million) increase in total funding, and a 0.9% ($17.2 million) increase in state General Fund dollars, compared with year-to-date funding levels as of Feb. 5, 2014.

The total DOC budget approved by the Senate is $2.03 billion, including $2.0 billion from the state General Fund. This is a 0.3% ($6.5 million) decrease in total funding, and a 0.7% ($14.5 million) increase in state General Fund dollars, compared with year-to-date funding.

The DOC budget is the fifth largest in Michigan, accounting for around 4% of total appropriations from all fund sources in the current fiscal year. When state General Fund monies are considered alone, the DOC budget is the state’s second largest, accounting for 21.3% of the General Fund.

Both the House and Senate budgets are lower than the governor’s recommendation, by $15 million and $24 million respectively. Major discrepancies include funding for a new Hepatitis C treatment program, which the governor’s budget includes but the House and Senate budgets do not; as well as funding for two prisoner re-entry legal services pilot programs, which the House includes, but the Executive and Senate budgets do not.

Included in the DOC budgets are the following changes:

Healthy Michigan Plan

GOVERNOR:

  • Recognizes full-year savings of $19.1 million in state General Fund in Fiscal Year 2015 as a result of the implementation of the Healthy Michigan Plan. Under this plan, low-income individuals ages 19-64 – who are not eligible for or enrolled in Medicaid or Medicare, are not pregnant, and have incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level – qualify for comprehensive healthcare. The current year budget assumed that most prisoner inpatient hospitalizations, certain services for mentally ill and medically fragile inmates, and some re-entry services would be covered. However, it was subsequently determined that certain treatments for sex offenders and substance abuse are not eligible for Medicaid reimbursement. The executive budget acknowledges that these services are not covered by federal funds, and reinstates $5.1 million in state funds to cover the costs.

HOUSE:

  • Concurs with the governor.

SENATE:

  • Concurs with the governor.

New Hepatitis C Treatment Protocol

GOVERNOR:

  • Includes $4.9 million in new funding to implement a treatment protocol for Hepatitis C, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Current treatment duration can take up to one year; includes side effects such as depression, anxiety and anemia; and is not guaranteed to cure the disease. The drugs recently approved by the Federal Drug Administration shorten the treatment period to 12 weeks, have fewer side effects, and a success rate of approximately 95%.

HOUSE:

  • Does not concur with the governor.

SENATE:

  • Includes a $100 placeholder to ensure discussion of the issue in conference committee, expressing concerns about the higher cost of the new treatment protocol.

Mental Health Diversion Council

GOVERNOR:

  • Includes $1 million in state funding for a pilot project that will connect inmates in one local jail with comprehensive mental health treatment as they transition back into the community. This funding is part of the implementation of the recommendations of the Mental Health Diversion Council created by the governor in 2013. This council is tasked with developing methods to divert individuals with mental illness or substance abuse problems out of the criminal justice system and into appropriate treatment.

HOUSE:

  • Concurs with the governor.

SENATE:

  • Concurs with the governor.

Prisioner Education Enhancement

GOVERNOR:

  • Includes $4.3 million General Fund (of which $1.1 million is one-time funding) to expand prisoner vocational education and prepare parolees for entry into the workforce. The added funding will be used to hire 15 additional employment counselors and five instructors. This initiative will focus on helping inmates acquire skillsets that are in demand by employers and connect inmates with employers prior to their release.

HOUSE:

  • Concurs with the governor.

SENATE:

  • Does not include this funding.

Michigan State Industries

GOVERNOR:

  • Includes $12.3 million in restricted funds to cover the administrative costs of Michigan State Industries. MSI is a DOC program that employs inmates while imprisoned. MSI’s stated goal is to give inmates an opportunity to acquire job skills and experience in preparation for their release.

HOUSE:

  • Concurs with the governor.

SENATE:

  • Reduces funding for this program by $6.2 million (50%) in restricted funds, and calls for a study of the program by December 2014.

Goodwill Flip the Script

Flip the Script is a program of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit, which provides education, job training and mentoring for young males, 19-29 years old, to encourage their self-sufficiency and prevent their entry into the justice system.

GOVERNOR:

  • Does not include funding for the program, which is a new line item in the Senate budget.

HOUSE:

  • Does not include new funding.

SENATE:

  • Includes $4.5 million in state funds for Flip the Script.

Swift and Sure

The Swift and Sure Sanctions Probation Program is a joint project with Michigan Rehabilitation Services in the Department of Human Services, and is designed to assist mentally and physically disabled probationers find employment.

GOVERNOR:

  • Does not include new funding.

HOUSE:

  • Does not include new funding.

SENATE:

  • Includes $3 million in additional funding to expand The Swift and Sure Sanctions Probation Program.

Prisoner Re-entry Legal Services

Re-entry legal services is a pilot program that would assist ex-offenders with employment, housing, child support and other related matters by providing outreach, education and legal representation.

GOVERNOR:

  • Does not include funding for the program, which is a new line item in the House budget.

HOUSE:

  • Adds $449,000 in state General Fund for two pilot programs to be established in Kent and Oakland counties (the latter also serving Wayne County).

SENATE:

  • Does not include new funding.

Re-entry, Parole, Probation and Community Programs

GOVERNOR:

  • The governor recommends $311.7 million in total funding for re-entry, parole, probation and community programs, a decrease of 4.9% ($15.9 million) compared with year-to-date funding. This decrease reflects expected savings from the implementation of the Healthy Michigan Plan, expected reductions in federal grants, and a transfer of funds to the Correctional Facilities Unit for the newly re-opened Detroit Detention Center.

HOUSE:

  • Includes $312.2 million for re-entry, parole, probation and community programs, a decrease of 4.7% ($15.5 million) compared with year-to-date funding.

SENATE:

  • Approves $315.5 million for re-entry, parole, probation and community programs, a decrease of 4.3% ($14.1 million) compared with year-to-date funding.

Feel-good proposal is bad public policy

A new proposal to create so-called sales tax holidays here in Michigan may sound appealing, but it’s poor public policy.

Sen. Mark Jansen’s proposal (Senate Bill 943) exempts certain items from the sales tax for several days prior to camping season, the beginning of school and hunting season. The idea is that eliminating the sales tax during certain times of the year will help low-income taxpayers, spur spending and cost the state little in revenue, but the facts show otherwise.

And because of that, it’s not surprising that in recent years a number of states have ended their sales tax holidays. (more…)

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