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.

Confirmed Cases: 117617

Reported Deaths: 3302
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds8011179
DeSoto721079
Harrison539884
Jackson469387
Rankin401686
Madison384394
Lee364082
Forrest309478
Jones296184
Washington260399
Lafayette253143
Lauderdale2499135
Lamar229138
Oktibbeha203755
Bolivar202877
Neshoba1861111
Lowndes181262
Panola170640
Leflore169188
Sunflower164049
Warren156056
Monroe153073
Pontotoc149020
Marshall147330
Lincoln142959
Pike140456
Copiah138736
Scott126229
Coahoma125537
Yazoo122734
Grenada122639
Simpson122349
Union119725
Tate119339
Itawamba115926
Leake115842
Pearl River115060
Holmes114960
Adams109344
Prentiss108320
Wayne102722
Alcorn102112
George101419
Covington98529
Marion95443
Tippah93123
Newton86827
Chickasaw86226
Hancock85928
Tallahatchie84626
Winston84621
Tishomingo82241
Attala80526
Clarke76353
Clay70522
Jasper69217
Walthall64127
Calhoun62713
Noxubee60117
Smith59816
Yalobusha55614
Montgomery55423
Claiborne53916
Tunica53617
Lawrence53414
Perry51223
Carroll49712
Stone48614
Greene47918
Humphreys44916
Amite42713
Quitman4216
Jefferson Davis41711
Webster37813
Benton3608
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32715
Sharkey28715
Jefferson27710
Franklin2483
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 160380

Reported Deaths: 2713
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23573377
Mobile16994316
Tuscaloosa10462140
Montgomery10352198
Madison942298
Shelby750465
Baldwin671269
Lee657165
Calhoun464761
Marshall442651
Etowah434151
Morgan422335
Houston419334
DeKalb349228
Elmore324653
St. Clair304042
Limestone293631
Walker283793
Talladega271437
Cullman255725
Lauderdale233842
Jackson219417
Autauga208231
Franklin206432
Colbert206032
Blount197225
Russell19603
Chilton190432
Dallas188127
Coffee180711
Dale178952
Covington175929
Escambia174931
Chambers136847
Clarke136617
Pike134514
Tallapoosa133987
Marion110331
Barbour10429
Marengo102622
Butler101241
Winston94013
Geneva9217
Lawrence86933
Pickens86918
Bibb85015
Randolph83516
Hale77730
Cherokee75614
Clay75312
Washington75112
Henry7236
Lowndes71628
Monroe65510
Bullock65017
Crenshaw60930
Perry5956
Fayette58913
Cleburne5739
Wilcox57012
Conecuh56513
Macon53920
Lamar5085
Sumter47421
Choctaw39312
Greene34616
Coosa2093
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