From Forbes McIntosh, Government Policy Solutions, WALA Lobbyist
Legislation was introduced in the state Assembly last Friday that would require the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) to expand the existing Family Care and IRIS [1.0] program to Rock County by July 1, 2016. Important to note is 2015 Act 55 (state budget) directs DHS to make a number of changes to the Family Care and IRIS programs, including ” to make the Family Care [2.0] program available statewide by January 1, 2017, or a date determined by the Department, whichever is later.” The implementation dates of Family Care and IRIS 1.0 and 2.0, assuming approval by the federal government, will likely be factors in future legislative committee deliberations.
Assembly Bill 453 requires DHS to do all of the following for residents of Rock County: contract with a resource center such that its services are available to residents before July 1, 2016; contract with a CMO to administer the Family Care benefit such that the benefit is available to residents on July 1, 2016; and provide services under IRIS such that services are available to residents on July 1, 2016. For the contract with a CMO, the bill exempts DHS from soliciting the contract under a competitive sealed proposal process. Under the bill, DHS is not required to obtain approval from Joint Committee on Finance to enter these contracts or provide these services to residents of Rock County.
The bill is sponsored by two Republican members of the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, among other legislators.