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Public health transformation bill heads to the House

Photo: LRC Public Information
By Gracie Lagadinos
Rep. Kimberly Moser chairs the House Health and Family Services Committee and sponsored this bill.

UPDATE: (Feb. 13, 4:30 p.m.) House bill 129 passed in the House with an 88-1 vote. It now heads to the Senate for consideration.

The House Appropriations and Revenue Committee unanimously passed House Bill 129 Feb. 11, 2020, and it awaits consideration from the House floor.

This bill, known as the public health transformation bill, proposes funding for state-mandated services to health departments across the state.

“House Bill 129 allows the Department of Public Health to get the local health departments back to core services statutorily required,” said Rep. Kimberly Moser- R, chair of the House Health and Family Services Committee and sponsor of the bill.

The Kentucky Health Department Association said about 18 local health departments in 41 counties will face more than a $40 million deficit in 2020 due to the state’s rising pension costs and the current funding model for local health departments.

Although many counties will receive increased funding under HB 129, estimates predict that about 14 counties would receive less state funding under this new formula.

“Legislative changes are needed to align the statutes with the public health transformation and allow for system changes,” Moser said.

HB 129 passed out of the House Health and Family Services Committee Jan. 16, 2020, and was sent to the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee.

Committee Substitute 2 was adopted in the A&R Committee. That substitute places a cap on fee increases of no more than 25 percent in 2020 to allow time for fees to catch up with actual expenses of the services provided. It returns to the current 5 percent cap each year beginning in 2021.

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