Legislative Dems newest budget rejects most of Governor’s newest cuts

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In the latest budget proposal for the next two years, Democrats in legislative leadership have rejected many of the Governor’s most recent cuts. The newest legislative proposal rejects the Governor’s plan to cut another 8,700 working parents off HUSKY. Because of cuts passed last year, 17, 688 working parents will lose coverage as of July 31st. The latest legislative proposal also reverse 85% of proposed hospital cuts, restores mental health cuts, and rejected proposals to expand the administration’s authority to cut the budget without legislative approval. The legislative proposal does cut payments to Medicaid ASOs that operate the program by 10%, nursing home payments by $5.25 million, home care payments by over $5 million, and rates for children’s dental care by 5%. The proposal increases health care premiums and co-pays for legislative and non-union state workers, expedites transitions under Money Follows the Person, and allows liquor stores to sell smokeless tobacco products. Interestingly the budget also calls for $26 million in unspecified Medicaid savings – we have lots of ideas to achieve that and improve care. The latest proposal builds off the version that passed the Appropriations Committee. That version differed significantly from the Governor’s initial proposal in February. Differing versions are driven both by differing priorities and by declining revenue projections in the last few months. Negotiations will continue; the legislative session is scheduled to end next Wednesday.