County behind on SOPA funding

By Frank Lewis -

At Thursday’s meeting of the Scioto County Commissioners, the Daily Times inquired about how much money the county had appropriated for the Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA).

“We have not to date yet done that,” Scioto County Commissioners Chairman Bryan Davis said. “We’re waiting until the Capitol budget comes through. We’re waiting to see what kind of situation we’re going to be in fourth quarter this year.”

Davis said he and SOPA director Jason Kester talked about that issue Wednesday.

“We’re waiting to see if the MCO (Managed Care Organization) tax is going to go through.

“If it is, what does it look like?” Davis said. “We don’t even know at this time.”

Federal Medicaid law defines a health care-related tax as a licensing fee, assessment, or other mandatory payment that is related to the provision of /or payment for health care services or items. In many cases, states collect these payments from health care providers to help finance the non-federal share of their Medicaid expenditures.

“So that’s where we’re at, kind of in a holding pattern,” Davis said. He said he met with the SOPA finance committee about three weeks ago. “We said, basically we just need a little more time.”

Kester was also at the commissioners’ meeting and told the Times, “On the revised (SOPA) agenda that’s going to go out today (May 4) or tomorrow (May 5), on June 22 we’re going to have a big SOPA finance meeting in the SOPA meeting, and that will be the meeting in which we talk about finances and what the game plan is,” Kester said.

The Times asked if SOPA has a specific amount they are requesting.

“I’m still working on some numbers,” Kester said. “I had just sent them an updated projection five minutes ago, so we’re still trying to figure.”

He said he had sent the commissioners an amended request at 8 a.m. on Thursday.

“They’re (SOPA) in the midst of their stakeholder fundraising too now,” Davis said. “So we’re a little bit behind.”

By Frank Lewis

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.