Legislative Update: Week of June 24, 2019

Jun 24, 2019


The six appointed members of the FY2020 budget conference committee have spent the majority of June deliberating over what the final budget should look like. In the chance that they are unable to reach a compromise before the 2020 fiscal year begins on July 1, Governor Baker filed a $5 million interim budget to keep the state government open. The bill has passed in both branches but still awaits final votes later in the week before it is sent to the Governor. Another major topic this month was the Red Line derailment that led to severe commuting delays in Greater Boston. While the MBTA has been underinvested in for some time, this derailment reignited the debate over the future of the MBTA and the need for immediate improvements. In response, the Kendall Square Association released a report on Tuesday outlining the action that should be taken to ease the significant commuting issues Cambridge faces each day.

In Congress, the Senate Aging Committee held a hearing on Wednesday, “The Complex Web of Prescription Drug Prices, Part III: Examining Agency Efforts to Further Competition and Increase Affordability,” that sought to find solutions to rising prescription drug costs.


The state’s FY2020 budget deliberations may come to a close this week, which would put a final, compromised budget in front of Governor Baker ahead of the July 1 start of the new fiscal year. MassBio submitted a letter to Conferees urging them to take a careful, considered approach to MassHealth drug pricing reform.

President Trump is expected to issue an executive order this week to improve price transparency in health care by requiring health insurers, doctors & other industry stakeholders to disclose new details about healthcare costs. Also at the Federal level, the Senate HELP Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday to vote on the health care plan proposed by Senators Alexander and Murray that aims to lower drug prices, as well as other health care costs. The draft, as outlined, includes language that would ban pharmacy benefit managers from engaging in spread pricing and would ensure access to generic drugs.

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