Joint human services subcommittee passes OHA budget bill

The Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services passed the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) budget bill, HB 5024, on Wednesday. 

 

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This is the bill’s first movement since mid-March and signifies the start of the push towards the final biennium budget for OHA. Oregon’s legislative session is scheduled to end on June 27th, giving lawmakers about a week and a half to pass the budget bill. 

The Legislative Fiscal Office (LFO) presented their recommended OHA budget to the committee with total funds of $29.8 billion. This includes $3.6 billion from the General Fund (GF) and $16.9 billion in federal funds. 

The 2019-2021 Legislatively Approved OHA budget was $25.6 billion. According to LFO, the reason for growth in the 2021-2023 budget is Oregon Health Plan’s (OHP) case growth, inflation, and added recommended investments. These recommended investments are in health equity, behavioral health and public health. 

The LFO recommended budget does not include any major cuts to current OHA programs, but expands programs in the LFO recommended investment categories. 

HB 5024 was returned to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means where it awaits a work session.