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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.

Confirmed Cases: 66646

Reported Deaths: 1874
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5599118
DeSoto363230
Harrison249836
Madison241464
Rankin227633
Jackson226942
Jones188558
Forrest177856
Washington164641
Lee142839
Lauderdale140792
Neshoba128592
Lamar120214
Oktibbeha111838
Bolivar110834
Warren108932
Lowndes107437
Panola105412
Sunflower102425
Scott99820
Lafayette96416
Copiah95028
Pike92836
Leflore92562
Holmes89048
Grenada84321
Yazoo82912
Pontotoc8218
Lincoln80941
Simpson79530
Leake78625
Monroe77853
Wayne76421
Coahoma74312
Tate72028
Marshall6889
Marion65720
Union62716
Winston62016
Adams61725
Covington61213
George5595
Newton54211
Pearl River54038
Tallahatchie53010
Attala52125
Walthall49819
Chickasaw45920
Noxubee45311
Alcorn4195
Calhoun4179
Prentiss41710
Tishomingo4095
Claiborne40413
Smith40413
Clay39413
Hancock38814
Jasper3879
Tippah36013
Itawamba35810
Tunica3337
Clarke32625
Montgomery3213
Lawrence3197
Yalobusha31310
Humphreys29111
Quitman2621
Carroll26111
Greene24111
Kemper23214
Perry2327
Jefferson Davis2316
Amite2306
Webster22812
Wilkinson20513
Sharkey1975
Jefferson1957
Stone1944
Benton1431
Choctaw1334
Franklin1242
Issaquena261
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 94827

Reported Deaths: 1674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12969243
Mobile9836206
Montgomery6609148
Madison531433
Tuscaloosa419073
Unassigned356061
Baldwin350224
Shelby326035
Marshall313035
Lee266045
Morgan236918
Etowah210431
DeKalb179813
Calhoun176113
Elmore171538
Walker152064
Houston138612
Russell13582
St. Clair132817
Dallas131823
Limestone131813
Franklin127020
Cullman122012
Colbert117113
Lauderdale115717
Autauga108621
Escambia107516
Talladega100913
Jackson9684
Tallapoosa85479
Chambers84038
Dale82723
Blount7884
Chilton7886
Butler75836
Coffee7566
Covington73420
Pike7037
Clarke6629
Barbour5735
Lowndes57124
Marion57024
Marengo55315
Hale47326
Bullock46311
Winston45011
Perry4404
Bibb4265
Wilcox42610
Monroe4194
Randolph39610
Pickens3929
Conecuh38810
Washington38612
Sumter36018
Lawrence3481
Macon33414
Crenshaw3143
Choctaw28112
Cherokee2707
Henry2593
Geneva2570
Clay2525
Greene25011
Lamar2202
Fayette2045
Cleburne1261
Coosa1012
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