The Texas House Appropriations Committee voted out an emergency supplemental spending bill this morning. The bill would fund the state’s Medicaid services for the rest of the current budget.
Almost all of the $4.8 billion bill goes to pay for the state’s Medicaid services. Lawmakers purposely underfunded the program by 6 months in 2011 as part of $27 billion cut from the state budget due to a dramatic drop in state revenue.
House budget writer Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie) told reporters the bill must be signed into law by the middle of March or the Health and Human Services Commission will run out of Medicaid money to pay hospitals and doctors.
“We’re kind of moving money around right now from different accounts in the HHSC’s budget so we can pay some of our debts today," Pitts said.
Pitts said a second supplemental bill for additional items, including money for the 2011 wildfires, will come in the next couple of weeks.