The Senate was hoping to propose a budget that would get to Governor Rick Scott’s desk before the end of the Legislating session on March 9th, but it seems like this won’t be the case. Instead, they’re asking for overtime because of a halt concerning hospital spending in the state budget’s final negotiations.
Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran announced to members of the House last night that the session needed to be extended, or that a special session needed to be called if they wanted to reach a conclusion by Friday. And, he added that they should “Make preparations because that’s kind of where we are headed.” He went on to explain that the likeliest scenario would be the session ending on Saturday, or Governor Scott could request a special session that could take place as soon as Monday.
The topic still being discussed to pass a budget is a proposal to redistribute $318 million in “automatic rate enhancements” in Medicaid that are currently paid to 28 hospitals carrying a large Medicaid caseload that would increase rates paid to all the hospitals. Also included in the budget is $50 million to help offset recurring effects of budget cuts on hospitals this year. Proponents of this measure are rural hospitals that say the $50 million is exactly what they need.