House Passes Medicaid Budget Bill

The Kentucky House has approved a bipartisan plan for balancing the state’s Medicaid budget. The 94-4 vote, on the sixth day of the special session in Frankfort, sends the bill to the Senate.

“We take much of the Senate’s proposal and incorporate it in this document,” says House Speaker Greg Stumbo. “I think you saw today that it reaches across party lines.  It reaches across regional lines.  I think the members, obviously, by and large, are confident this is a different proposal.”

After the vote, Senate Majority Leader Robert Stivers was reluctant to comment on a bill he was still waiting to read.

“It’s one thing to talk about concepts versus reading a bill and determining what the details of the bill are. As I remember when I first came in, the first time that I heard Sen. Dick Roeding – who was the president pro tem – say, the devil is in the details. Concepts are concepts and you have to deal with them accordingly after you read the legislation,” he said.

The bill still allows Governor Steve Beshear to shift Medicaid funds forward, but if projected savings from managed care fail to materialize, targeted cuts to state agencies would have to be made by October 1st. Education, vocational rehabilitation and veterans affairs would be exempt from any cuts.

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.