Countdown to the 2020 Legislative Session

The 2020 legislative session is fast approaching. It will be the second year of a two-year biennium which means any bill that had not yet passed at the end of the 2019 legislative session picks up where it left off. Controversial bills often require a full two-year biennium to make it through the entire process. 

Such is the case for the minimum wage and paid family leave bills, both of which failed to pass when negotiations to reconcile the House and Senate versions stalled. Eventually, in an unusual move, the House brought the session to an end without agreement from the Senate.

Since then, House and Senate leaders have been working toward a resolution and both bills are widely expected to move quickly toward final votes in January. 

Health care providers have been asked to provide extensive wage data to the legislature’s technical staff to estimate a Medicaid increase needed to fund wage increases for entry-level workers. This sounds simple, but the policy questions are complex. It is critical that policymakers address the reality that home health agencies and other providers are already operating Medicaid programs at a substantial loss to fund the wages they pay today.