Senate Expected to Revise, Pass Medicaid Budget Bill Thursday

The Kentucky Senate Thursday is expected to approve its version of a plan for balancing the state’s Medicaid budget. The bill will get a budget committee vote in the morning, and then see action on the Senate floor.

Majority Floor Leader Robert Stivers says the Senate still has two major concerns about the bill that passed the House: verification of managed care savings and debt restructuring.

“When you start thinking about restructuring debt, it just doesn’t cause you to push $70 million or $140 million out. There’s tens of millions of dollars of costs that are also capitalized into that indenture and rolled out into future years for payments. So, that’s a real concern with us,” he says.

After the Senate passes the bill, House and Senate leaders likely will need to sit down to negotiate a final agreement. Since lawmakers are paid for weekends during special sessions, this is day 11 of the session.

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.