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Mississippi lawmakers OK budgets, file Medicaid proposal

MGN Online

Mississippi lawmakers on Monday approved most remaining parts of the state budget for the year beginning July 1, and negotiators filed a proposal to keep the Medicaid program alive and running.

Posted: Mar 27, 2018 9:22 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi lawmakers on Monday approved most remaining parts of the state budget for the year beginning July 1, and negotiators filed a proposal to keep the Medicaid program alive and running.

Medicaid is government health insurance program for the needy and is paid by federal and state money. It covers about 1 in 4 Mississippi residents. The program comes up for a thorough legislative review every few years, including this one.

Hospital administrators have been lobbying lawmakers to let hospitals get a piece of Medicaid's managed care program that is now run by other companies. Senate Medicaid Committee Chairman Brice Wiggins, a Republican from Pascagoula, said negotiators rejected that idea.

The Medicaid plan is in Senate Bill 2836 , which governs who gets paid for providing health care and how. The plan includes provisions designed to give a financial boost to rural hospitals. It also gives Medicaid administrators more flexibility, within federal laws and regulations, to determine how many physicians' visits are allowed, and it allows flexibility for reimbursement for certain drugs, implantable drug system devices and medical supplies.

Mississippi would spend more than $900 million in state dollars on Medicaid in the coming year. Because Mississippi is poor, the federal government provides about $3 for every $1 from the state.

Other parts of the budget went to Gov. Phil Bryant for his approval or veto, including the state's K-12 education budget. House Bill 1592 provides $2.2 billion in state money for school spending in the budget year beginning July 1. The Mississippi Adequate Education Program, as the public school funding formula is called, will get a slight increase to pay higher health insurance costs for teachers.

Lawmakers will spend another $2.5 million on a program that pays for 4-year-olds to attend preschool, allowing expansion beyond the current 14 communities that the program serves. Senate Education Committee Chairman Gray Tollison, an Oxford Republican, told senators that should allow the state to serve another thousand children, bringing the total served to 3,000.

The state will spend more on teacher bonuses for schools that get As and Bs in the state's rating system or go up a grade. Tollison said that shows more schools are performing well.

Education is the largest part of the $6.1 billion budget that legislators are pushing through in the closing days of the 2018 regular session. Lawmakers continued talks

The Legislature also voted Sunday for the state to borrow more than $250 million, including:

— $82.3 million for university projects;

— $50 million to replace local bridges;

— $45 million for improvements at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula;

— $36 million for state agency buildings;

— $25 million for community colleges.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 343505

Reported Deaths: 7543
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds23932444
DeSoto23229283
Harrison20527329
Rankin15411291
Jackson15232252
Madison10959227
Lee10719179
Jones9047169
Forrest8723159
Lauderdale7884244
Lowndes7054151
Lamar702989
Lafayette6548124
Washington5595139
Pearl River5196152
Bolivar4954134
Oktibbeha494398
Panola4771112
Warren4728128
Marshall4701106
Pontotoc447773
Union433279
Monroe4330137
Neshoba4281181
Hancock428088
Lincoln4176116
Pike3667113
Leflore3627125
Tate353388
Alcorn350974
Sunflower347694
Scott341176
Adams340988
Yazoo339376
Copiah324968
Simpson322891
Itawamba314680
Coahoma314085
Tippah306568
Prentiss298863
Covington293484
Leake285475
Marion284181
Wayne277543
George272251
Grenada269488
Newton262364
Tishomingo239770
Winston236784
Jasper230648
Stone229637
Attala226373
Chickasaw219060
Holmes200174
Clay197654
Clarke186880
Tallahatchie183742
Calhoun181332
Smith179235
Yalobusha171540
Walthall145748
Lawrence142826
Greene140134
Amite137543
Noxubee135235
Perry133538
Montgomery133044
Carroll126431
Webster121232
Jefferson Davis116734
Tunica114227
Benton106725
Claiborne105331
Kemper102429
Humphreys100133
Franklin87923
Quitman84719
Choctaw82619
Wilkinson78032
Jefferson71328
Sharkey51618
Issaquena1736
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 577463

Reported Deaths: 11510
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson841981589
Mobile47171860
Madison37047533
Tuscaloosa26915465
Shelby26873256
Montgomery25918625
Baldwin24499328
Lee16949181
Calhoun15252332
Morgan15017290
Etowah14778370
Marshall12933235
Houston11774292
Elmore10761217
St. Clair10617252
Limestone10574158
Cullman10363205
Lauderdale10083254
DeKalb9382191
Talladega8836188
Walker7681287
Autauga7479114
Jackson7317117
Blount7266139
Colbert6635142
Coffee6163132
Dale5453117
Russell470642
Chilton4682117
Covington4649125
Franklin450081
Tallapoosa4440156
Escambia427882
Chambers3898125
Dallas3717163
Clarke367763
Marion3427106
Pike327879
Lawrence3225101
Winston294973
Bibb284565
Geneva276383
Marengo259967
Barbour246261
Pickens240062
Butler238272
Hale232778
Fayette225264
Henry209245
Monroe197241
Randolph196744
Cherokee196348
Washington180139
Macon168752
Crenshaw165558
Clay163759
Cleburne160245
Lamar149938
Lowndes144854
Wilcox130531
Bullock126142
Conecuh119630
Coosa116929
Perry109928
Sumter109032
Greene98736
Choctaw64325
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Very hot and very humid conditions linger in our area for our Saturday. However, the heat and humidity start to dwindle a bit as we go into our Sunday and beyond. As a matter of fact below normal high temperatures for this time of year.
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