Budget update

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I may have spoken too soon earlier today when I said the Governor’s July allotments reflect a maintenance budget. Further drilling down into the allotment amounts announced by the Governor to bridge essential services until there is a budget agreement finds that some large line items are funded significantly below what was spent last July. Medicaid is down by over half from $733 million in July 08 to $340 million in this July’s allotment. DSH payments to hospitals for medical emergencies and for urban hospitals are both zeroed out; last July the state spent $13.4 million and $7.8 million in those accounts, respectively. Significant cuts were also made in the SAGA and TANF line items. It is possible that the state expects to delay payments to providers and HMOs to improve the financial picture for this budget year.
Ellen Andrews