Negotiations over Massachusetts’ FY2020 state budget continued through last week and into this week. As the budget was not in place by the start of the July 1st fiscal year, Acting Governor Karyn Polito signed a temporary state budget to keep the state government open. As of this writing, there is hope by House and Senate leaders that the budget will be passed before the July 4th holiday.
In Congress, both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate HELP Committee advanced proposals aimed at lowering prescription drugs. More specifically, the Lower Health Care Costs Act – advanced by the Senate HELP Committee – contains several provisions on drug pricing, including a requirement for drug manufacturers to report confidential business information and a ban on “spread pricing” by PBMs. Further changes to both bills are expected as they move through the legislative process.
July 1 marked the first day of the Massachusetts 2020 fiscal year. And, with a full-year budget not yet finalized, an interim budget was signed into law in place as conference committee deliberations continue. July 1 also kicks off the most recent wave of MBTA fare hikes. Groups of protestors have gathered at various stations throughout the Greater Boston area in response to the increases.