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What’s in the Fiscal Code

December 14, 2023

Last evening, the General Assembly passed and Governor Shapiro signed legislation that finalizes outstanding pieces of the 2023–2024 state budget, including support for financially distressed hospitals and other notable items for the health care community.

Following months of back and forth, the budget deal authorizes several programs that were funded when the legislature passed the general appropriations bill in June.

Importantly, the legislation:

  • Allocates $50 million to the Department of Community and Economic Development to provide state assistance to hospitals and health systems that experience unexpected financial impact situations.
  • Clarifies that the increase in base-funded county mental health services by $20 million will not be included in Human Services Block Grant calculations.
  • Includes $100 million for student mental health programs in schools as part of a comprehensive education package.
  • Supports web portals for comprehensive referral services, support, and information for those who provide mental and behavioral health services.
  • Requires a study that includes aspects of 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline implementation.
  • Enhances Medical Assistance payments for dentistry.

Additionally, the legislation ensures Tobacco Settlement funds will be distributed as expected and lays groundwork to favorably address loan repayment expectations for the Rural Health Redesign Center.

HAP continues to advocate for resources to support hospitals as they deliver exemplary care in their communities. Last week, HAP shared our 2024–2025 budget and policy recommendations with the Shapiro administration to grow the health care workforce; support rural hospitals; build our behavioral health system; and improve maternal health while addressing disparities in care.

For additional information, contact Heather Tyler, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy with questions.