The state House of Representatives passed the amended two-year, $41.3 billion state budget on Nov. 15, finally putting a punctuation mark on a process that had lasted for months.
The House’s vote in favor of the bill – 123-12, with 15 lawmakers absent – followed the state Senate’s 34-0 approval of Senate Bill 1503 on Nov. 14.
The bill implements changes in the structure of the controversial hospital tax, which provides both the state and those facilities with federal reimbursement funds. Gov. Dannel Malloy, who signed the original budget on Oct. 31 after it won overwhelming approval by both legislative bodies, had line-item vetoed the hospital tax, which led to the revisions.
The bill also revises language that held up $26.4 million in financial assistance for certain elderly and disabled renters, and changes the years when some tax changes will take effect.
Malloy’s Director of Communications Kelly Donnelly said, “The final language that was delivered to the governor’s desk today is a positive development that will enable the administration to proceed without delay in our amended submission to CMS,” referring to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees Medicaid and must still approve the state’s revision.
“We are grateful for the leadership in the House and Senate,” Donnelly said, “for recognizing Gov. Malloy’s concerns about the flawed hospital supplemental payment and provider tax language that was included in the adopted budget bill, and their agreement to quickly come in and rectify it to make the law workable.”
Despite approving the budget and the revisions, the state still has a projected deficit of $178.4 million in the current fiscal year.