by Sarah Curry
Director of Fiscal Policy Studies
When the Governor released his budget proposal in May he expressed very strong concerns about the future of the Medicaid program and the continuous budget shortfalls the state has experienced. In an attempt to alleviate future budget constraints due to an unforeseen shortfall he created a Medicaid Risk Reserve Fund of $50 million and set aside $1 million of seed money for Medicaid Reform. By the time the Senate and House had proposed their versions of the budget, budget writers identified an additional Medicaid shortfall and each chamber was forced to rearrange budget priorities to address the growing problem. The Senate increased the Medicaid budget by $200 million and also set aside $5 million to create a new administrative organization that would ultimately house Medicaid. The House took a different approach and set aside $118 million in a Medicaid Reserve Fund along with $1 million for consultants to evaluate reform options.
Tomorrow there will be a committee meeting to focus specifically on the Medicaid budget differences.