Barbour has outlined an executive budget for FY 2011 that calls for agency directors to find efficiencies in spending and trims most agencies 12 to 17 percent while funding public schools at near peak levels. Total K-12 spending (from federal, state and local sources) will be $4.574 billion, which is less than 1.3 percent below peak spending, with a 9.2 percent funding increase for National Board Certification.
Calling on lawmakers to pace the use of state reserves over a three-year period and with no word yet from Congress on whether $187 million in enhanced Medicaid spending will come through, the governor has agreed to use money available from all state sources, a concession from his earlier position that the Legislature should hold back 2 percent to deal with spending problems in the new year that begins July 1.
Where does Medicaid spending fit into the budget? As a state agency they will also again be asked to reduce spending. With recent provider rate reductions taking reimbursement to a level less than cost of service, further reductions would make continued service to Medicaid recipients impossible for most providers.
Since legislators have unresolved issues with FY 2010 Division of Medicaid budget and the subsequent actions of that agency, we are in a position to influence the budget process. Legislators return to continue budget debates on Tuesday, April 20, 2010. We urge you to contact Representative Dirk Dedeaux, Chair Medicaid, Representative Steve Holland, Chair Public Health & Human Services, Representative Johnny Stringer, Chair Appropriations, Senator Alan Nunnelee, Chair Appropriations, and Senator Hob Bryan, Chair Public Health & Welfare. Also consider reviewing these committees to see if one of your legislators is on the committee. Email, physical address, and committee information can be found at www.billstatus.ls.state.ms.us <http://www.billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/> .