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House approves $39.51b budget proposal for FY ‘17

The state House of Representatives on Wednesday, April 27 unanimously approved a $39.51 billion budget proposal for the next fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2016.

The proposal included funding of no less than an estimated $7 million for Competitive Integrated Employment Services or CIES. The budget ensures CIES will be funded at least at FY '16 spending levels, which are projected to be just over $7 million this year. Rep. Daniel Hunt filed an amendment for the funding, which was co-sponsored by nearly 30 of his colleagues in the House.

The proposal did not include an amendment proposed by Rep. Jeffrey Roy to create a loan repayment program for human services workers. The amendment would have created a pilot loan repayment program funded at $750,000 and would have allowed employees to receive up to $150 per month to pay for a qualified education loan. Despite the support of more than 50 lawmakers, the amendment did not get included in the budget.

The next step in the budget process is for the state Senate to unveil its budget proposal. That document is expected to be released in mid-May.

Providers' Council members with questions about the FY '17 budget can contact Bill Yelenak.