Senate to consider House-approved budget plan

Senate to consider House-approved budget plan
Gov. John Bel Edwards (Source: KPLC)

BATON ROUGE, LA (KPLC) - The Senate will start considering the House's new state budget plan today that calls for huge cuts to several aspects of health care.

Around 37,000 Medicaid recipients in Louisiana will soon receive a letter that was sent yesterday telling them their benefits are at risk and may be lost by July 1.

Over half of those people are currently in nursing homes, which seem to be the group suffering the most from the new budget plan.

The House has approved the plan that would cut just under 2 billion dollars of health care funding.

On top of the Medicaid cuts, the state would also have to shut down hospitals, trim prisoner funding, and reduce the TOPS scholarship program.

The Senate will begin looking at the proposed plan today, but if approved by the Senate, the federal government would then also have to approve the cuts.

Governor John Bel Edwards says it is time to go into a special session to address the state's budget.

"The pledge the legislature made was before it wrote it off the books it would take a look at the long term structural budget and fiscal reform and replace the temporary revenues with permanent revenues," said Edwards. "Now, they had a fiscal session last year, not a single bill passed the House of Representatives to address the cliff we knew was coming."

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