Musgrove Unveils Proposal To Fund Medicaid - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Musgrove Unveils Proposal To Fund Medicaid

Gov. Ronnie Musgrove says he has found a means of raising $148 million to erase the immediate deficit crisis facing the Medicaid program.

Musgrove released his budget to lawmakers Friday in a presentation at the state Capitol. Musgrove proposed a combination of speeding up the paying of taxes by Mississippi's largest companies and pulling money from a rural road fund to avoid huge slashes in the Medicaid budget.

Musgrove called for quick action from legislative leaders attending his budget presentation so the Medicaid program could avoid running out of money in February.

Musgrove proposed using $48 million that is now earmarked for the state-aid road program. The state-aid program helps counties plan and build roads in rural areas of Mississippi. The governor said the program would not lose money because the state would issue one-time bonds of $48 million to replace what was taken from it.

The other money-generating step Musgrove proposed was to change how larger companies pay taxes to the state. He said the present monthly payments made electronically by companies with tax bill of $20,000 or more would be paid weekly. Musgrove said that would bring in a one-time $100 million that would be used for Medicaid.

Musgrove said the proposal would address only the Medicaid shortfall in the present fiscal year and not the next, which begins July 1.

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