May 14, 2021 Legislators announced late this week that they had come to an agreement on the budget. Exact details will become more known as the bills are put through committee in the next few days but according to information given this week, most agencies will remain at least flat while some will get increases. Legislators are expected to vote on the general appropriations bill soon. As long as they remain in session, the governor has five days to sign or veto bills or they automatically become law. Thus, they are not likely to adjourn right away after the budget bills pass. They must adjourn by 5 p.m. May 28, however. We expect the managed care fight to continue in the last days of session. Our coalition is still seeking to have SB131 heard on the Senate floor and a number of providers participated in the day at the capitol this past Tuesday encouraging their legislators to hear the bill and to vote yes. Meanwhile, the state supreme court has assigned special justices to the health organizations’ request for an injunction to stop the implementation. That could mean that the court will have a hearing on the case but likely not until after the legislature adjourns. Other issues:
  • SB658, the last anti-vaccine measure still awaits acceptance or rejection of amendments on the Senate floor.
  • The legislature already passed and the governor signed SB79 which restores a tax credit to the University Hospitals Trust allowing OU Health to train more nurses and medical residents.
We will be watching the managed care situation and any other measures that could affect your patients and practices in the waning days of session when anything can happen!

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