84(R) - 2015
Relating to emergency medical air transportation funding.
A fiscal note dated April 22, 2015 anticipates a negative two-year net impact to General Revenue Related Funds from CSHB 3077 of $29,580,000 through the biennium ending August 31, 2017. Increased revenue to the new General Revenue-Dedicated account could, for certification purposes, offset the reduction to General Revenue Funds.
The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill.
House Bill 3077 would create a new dedicated account in the general revenue fund for emergency medical air transportation. The account would be composed from money deposited to the credit of the account under Section 542.4031 of the Transportation Code (state traffic fine) and interest earned on the investment of money in the account and depository interest allocable to the account.
Money appropriated from the account could be used to provide funding, in addition to funding available from other sources, for emergency medical air transportation. It could also be transferred to the Health and Human Services Commission to provide reimbursements under the medical assistance program under Chapter 32, Human Resources Code, to providers of emergency medical air transportation services, including reimbursement enhancements to the statewide dollar amount rate used to reimburse designated air ambulance services under the program, and maximize the receipt of federal funds under the medical assistance program under Chapter 32, Human Resources Code, to the extent possible.
House Bill 3077 would amend Section 542.4031 of the Transportation Code to provide that of the money received under this section, 17 percent would have to be deposited to the credit of the designated emergency medical air transportation account, and only 50 percent (instead of 67 percent currently) to the credit of the undedicated portion of the general revenue fund.
Vote Recommendation Notes
House Bill 3077 would create a new undedicated account that would take money from state traffic fines under Section 542.4031, specifically from the portion that is normally deposited to the credit of the undedicated portion of the general revenue fund, to provide funding and a reimbursing source for emergency medical air transportation.
While we realize emergency medical air transportation is crucial to saving lives and there are issues currently with some emergency patients that are not able to pay for the transportation service, House Bill 3077, by creating a dedicated fund and taking from money that is normally deposited to the undedicated portion of the general revenue fund would have the potential to increase spending without those funds being subject to the spending cap.
Additionally, the role of government is not to subsidize certain businesses because they cannot obtain payment for certain services that they accept to give. We oppose House Bill 3077.