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: 261167

Reported Deaths: 5713
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17561191
Hinds16687329
Harrison14050202
Rankin11102217
Jackson10729188
Lee9014143
Madison8495168
Jones6607114
Forrest6135122
Lauderdale6067192
Lowndes5490120
Lafayette511794
Lamar499865
Washington4904125
Bolivar4087109
Oktibbeha403581
Panola380981
Pontotoc374757
Monroe3651106
Warren3649103
Union353263
Marshall352069
Neshoba3464154
Pearl River3422105
Leflore3090109
Lincoln304287
Sunflower290373
Hancock288461
Tate279062
Alcorn270754
Pike268180
Itawamba266662
Scott256048
Yazoo253756
Prentiss251153
Copiah247649
Tippah247550
Coahoma245954
Simpson241471
Leake236167
Grenada222471
Marion220273
Covington219072
Adams212370
Wayne208432
Winston205870
George203539
Newton197346
Attala196461
Tishomingo193861
Chickasaw188444
Jasper177838
Holmes171368
Clay164237
Tallahatchie155635
Stone149525
Clarke144762
Calhoun139922
Smith127725
Yalobusha121134
Walthall114037
Greene112929
Noxubee112225
Montgomery111236
Carroll106422
Lawrence105617
Perry104031
Amite100826
Webster95424
Tunica88221
Claiborne87825
Jefferson Davis87727
Benton84823
Humphreys84224
Kemper80020
Quitman7049
Franklin69617
Choctaw62513
Wilkinson59625
Jefferson56520
Sharkey44817
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 436087

Reported Deaths: 6486
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63969994
Mobile31211565
Madison27851208
Tuscaloosa21233271
Montgomery19698326
Shelby19093130
Baldwin16981188
Lee13036105
Morgan12526134
Etowah11987179
Calhoun11441206
Marshall10357123
Houston8886158
Limestone827876
Cullman8203108
Elmore8120104
DeKalb7828103
Lauderdale7798103
St. Clair7763125
Talladega6394111
Walker6002177
Jackson594644
Colbert545276
Blount543986
Autauga532761
Coffee456762
Dale406883
Franklin372448
Russell349212
Chilton342873
Covington336068
Escambia330144
Dallas312096
Tallapoosa3120107
Chambers301170
Clarke293336
Pike261131
Marion251558
Lawrence250752
Winston232742
Bibb221248
Geneva208746
Marengo206529
Pickens199031
Hale182742
Barbour179337
Fayette177029
Butler172459
Cherokee164330
Henry158224
Monroe151320
Randolph144336
Washington140127
Clay129146
Crenshaw122944
Macon120937
Cleburne120724
Lamar119721
Lowndes113736
Wilcox106622
Bullock102228
Perry99118
Conecuh96821
Sumter90026
Greene76823
Coosa63215
Choctaw51724
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