Legislation dealing with pensions and Medicaid begin to move through legislative process

Bills dealing with addressing issues within the state’s pension system and Medicaid managed care system passed through committees Wednesday, setting them up for movement to the House and Senate floor.

Pension transparency

The Senate State and Local Government Committee advanced a bill that would make former and current legislators’ retirement benefits information subject to open records requests.

Senate Bill 45, sponsored by state Sen. Chris McDaniel, allows for officials, upon request, to disclose the name and benefit amount, projected or actual, for any current or former lawmaker.

“This is about greater transparency,” McDaniel told the committee.  “The public has a right to know this information as they make decisions on who to vote for. This information should not remain shrouded in secrecy.”

Senate Bill 45 passed out of committee without opposition and will now head to the full Senate for a vote.

Appeals process for Medicaid providers

Senate Bill 20, a bill to define terms, and permit a provider that has exhausted an internal appeals process of a Medicaid managed care organization (MCO) to be entitled to an administrative appeals hearing, passed the Senate Health and Welfare Committee Wednesday.

The bill would give Medicaid providers the ability to use the appeals process and cut down on the repeated or overuse of the system, according to the bill sponsor state Sen. Ralph Alvarado.

Alvarado said Wednesday the bill will not raise costs on any from and will not impede the current contracts of the Medicaid managed care organizations.

Since it has passed out of committee, SB20 now heads to the Senate floor for a vote.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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