Texas HHS supplemental budget proposals: House vs. Senate

Both chambers of the Texas Legislature have passed their version of a supplemental appropriations bill, and a conference committee is now in place to negotiate a final deal.

The proposals each dedicate almost the same amount of state funding to Health and Human Services (HHS) in the budget, but the House proposal puts funding toward a wider variety of efforts within the agency.

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The Senate package is about $8.4 billion total, with roughly $2.6 billion in state funding going to HHS in FY 2019. The House version spends $9.3 billion total — including $2.1 billion that extends into FY 2020-21 — of which $2.59 billion in state funding is allocated to HHS.

Both proposals cover a $4.4 billion Medicaid shortfall, of which $2.3 billion comes from federal funds.

Each chamber also dedicates $110 million from the Rainy Day Fund to the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) for reimbursement of funds transferred to disaster assistance programs to address needs after Hurricane Harvey.

Other appropriations in the Senate version include $300 million from the Rainy Day Fund for state hospital improvements. The House version of the bill provides a similar level of funding, but it’s allocated to a variety of HHS efforts, including:

  • $1 million each for pre-planning two new state hospitals — one in the Panhandle region and one in the Dallas area;
  • $14 million from the general fund toward HHSC to make up for a Healthy Texas Women Program shortfall;
  • $37.5 million from the general fund to HHSC for mental health state hospital services;
  • $63.8 million from the general fund to HHSC for funding the Health Insurance providers Fee;
  • $7.2 million from the general fund to HHSC for state supported living centers;
  • $100 million from the general fund to HHSC for children’s hospital rate increases over two years;
  • $3.5 million from the general fund for HHSC for early childhood intervention;
  • $30 million in Rainy Day funds for the Department of State Health Services for grants to increase trauma capacity and improve the state’s infrastructure for trauma response; and
  • $6.1 million from the general fund to the Board of Pharmacy to fund integration and upgrades for the Prescription Monitoring Program.