Stalled Medicaid funds determine shape of Mississippi budget
JACKSON, Mississippi: A federal spending package that was stalled on June 24 by a Senate Republican filibuster is impacting state budgets across the country. According to a study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 23 states that have completed their FY 2011 budget relied on a six-month extension of federal Medicaid matching funds and are now trying to figure out what to do if the measure does not pass. Mississippi and Virginia are the only two states that did not count on the funds while making their budgets.
However, the Mississippi Legislature did pass a contingent budget which, if the funds were received, would pull $110 million in state funds currently for Medicaid use, and redirect it for public education. The federal Medicaid extension would give Mississippi $187 million. Many believe it is unlikely that the Medicaid extension would be passed before the November elections.