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Katie Beckett Bill Has a $ Fiscal Note

Representative Ron Travis with two young girls

Two Katie Beckett Bill HB0498/SB0476 Updates: 1) We are pleased to share that the bill has a fiscal note $$$ significantly lower than TennCare’s initial estimates and 2) The House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee will hear the bill on Wednesday, April 10th at 11am CT.

1) The Tennessee General Assembly relies on a special oversight committee made up of six senators and nine representatives called the Fiscal Review Committee to prepare estimates of the fiscal, or financial, impact of proposed bills. Their estimate of what the bill may cost and what revenue it may generate for the state is attached to the bill as what is known as a “fiscal note.” 

The Fiscal Review Committee published a fiscal note on April 2nd, 2019 with an estimated economic impact of the program based on serving 3,000 children. We at the Tennessee Disability Coalition believe that the Fiscal Review Committee’s estimate is much closer to what the program will cost than the TennCare Bureau’s initial estimate. Whether the fiscal note estimate for total state and federal allocation is enough to serve ALL kids who may benefit from a Katie Beckett Program is not something we can know at this point.

The Fiscal Review Committee estimates are:

  • If approved by the federal government, there is estimated to be an increase in state expenditures of $27,344,100 to serve 3,000 children 
  • It is estimated that the state’s premium tax collections will result in an increase in state revenue of $2,700,000 
  • Tennessee businesses including healthcare providers will experience an estimated increase in business revenue 
  • The federal government will contribute an estimated $49,484,100 
  • Based on the estimated total program cost (federal + state contributions) of $76,828,200 to serve 3,000 children annually, the average cost per child in Tennessee's Katie Beckett Program Part A and Part B combined would be $25,609.40.

The Fiscal Review Committee's estimate appears conservative when compared with what other states are currently spending to operate Katie Beckett Programs. States nearby and similar to Tennessee spend on average $11,000-$20,000 per child to serve kids each year on the equivalent of our legislation’s Katie Beckett Program “Part A.” 

2) The House of Representatives has a Finance, Ways and Means Committee and Subcommittee. The subcommittee plans to hear the Katie Beckett Bill HB0498/SB0476 this Wednesday, April 10th at 11am CT.

Because this bill has a fiscal note showing a need for state funding, the budget process requires that it go "behind the budget." This means that it won't be considered until after the full Finance Committee moves on Governor Lee's state spending plan.