Rendell’s state budget counting on federal money

    Governor Rendell is urging Congress to pass a bill expanding federal medical benefits as quickly as possible.

    Governor Rendell is urging Congress to pass a bill expanding federal medical benefits as quickly as possible.

    Rendell’s budget counts on $850 million from the anticipated expansion of Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP).

    He says if Congress doesn’t pass the bill, he’ll have to cut that money out of the state’s spending plan, and lay off thousands of employees.

    Rendell says Pennsylvania isn’t alone, and that a majority of states are also banking on the federal aid.

    “Last year, 47 governors sent a letter to the Congress saying the FMAP extension is essential,” says Rendell. “Ladies and gentlemen, it’s tough to get 47 governors to agree that today is – what is today, Tuesday? – That today is Tuesday.”

    The Senate could vote on the bill this week.

    Pennsylvania is already facing a $1.2 billion revenue gap, and the next fiscal year begins in less than three weeks.

    Several Senate Republicans are hesitant to endorse the bill, though, saying federal spending is already way too high.

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