The Richmond Register

Local News

March 19, 2011

Agreement nearing for Ky. Medicaid

FRANKFORT — At least one chamber of the Kentucky General Assembly seems to be moving closer to a bi-partisan agreement on a way to cover a Medicaid shortfall. But it’s still not clear what the details of the Democratic-controlled House proposal are nor is it clear the Republican-controlled Senate will accept it.

The plan might require Beshear to achieve budgeted levels of savings in Medicaid by specified dates and failure to do so might automatically trigger cuts to non-education programs and services.

Gov. Steve Beshear and the Democratic House want to move money from next year’s budget to this year and then make that up though managed care contracts next year. Senate President David Williams — who like Beshear is running for governor — says he isn’t likely to achieve those second-year savings and insists on across-the-board cuts to the rest of government, including education, to cover the difference.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo said Thursday he’s given a proposal to House Republican Leader Jeff Hoover which makes some concessions to the Senate but includes no cuts to education. Hoover said Friday his initial reaction “is fairly positive.” But he wouldn’t say more until he could share the proposal with his Republican members.

“Our position will be caucus-driven,” Hoover said.

Stumbo said “we’ve made quite a bit of progress,” but like Hoover wouldn’t share any details. He has previously said, however, the plan might include “targeted cuts” if Beshear fails to achieve the savings he says he can.

That could include timelines and target dates by which Beshear would have to demonstrate some level of savings through managed care or cuts in non-education programs would begin — before January, the halfway point in the fiscal year which runs July 1 through June 30. Rep. Arnold Simpson, D-Covington, said he hasn’t been involved in negotiations, “but that sounds a lot like what I’ve heard.” He thinks Beshear would accept a plan approved with bi-partisan support in the General Assembly.

Meanwhile Williams blasted Beshear for a letter the governor sent to Medicaid providers asking them to pressure Williams and other Republican senators to accept his and the House proposal to balance the Medicaid problem without cuts to other programs.

“The only thing he’s done is travel around the state with very high-charged political statements, including making statements such as he made in the most recent letter we received from some of the providers,” Williams said. The letter says Beshear will have to cut Medicaid reimbursement rates by 35 percent if a deal isn’t brokered.

Williams said Beshear is “trying to use scare tactics in order to coerce the General Assembly and the Kentucky state Senate into creating a huge budget gap next year and it’s not going to work. It is a road map to disaster and he’s just trying to put the disaster off until after the election. It’s obvious what he’s trying to do.”

Williams again suggested House Republicans aren’t united behind Hoover who issued a statement toward the end of the regular session that House Republicans wouldn’t support cuts to education.

“I was also glad to hear Alecia Webb-Edgington (Republican representative from Ft. Wright) and some other Republicans say they realize there needs to be some across-the-board cuts,” Williams said.

But Webb-Edgington later said Williams’ statement isn’t an accurate account of her comments in the House budget committee hearing Thursday.

“What I was saying was that any education cuts need to start at the Department of Education rather than in the schools,” she said. She said she also takes issue with suggestions House Republicans’ position against education cuts is a bow to pressure from the Kentucky Education Association.

“I don’t care if the teachers ever give me a nickel,” Webb-Edgington said. “That’s my mother. My mother was a classroom teacher for 35 years in Edmonson County.”

Williams said no one has discussed the House plan with him. Stumbo and Hoover both said they want to make sure their members agreed on it before sharing it with the Senate.

Stumbo expects the House budget committee to take up the proposal when it meets Monday at 2 p.m. and hopes it can be quickly voted out of the House in time for Senate action before the end of the second week of the special session.

Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. He may be contacted by

e-mail at Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.



Text Only
Local News
  • May 30 last school day for students

    After 16 snows days and two weather delays this winter, the Madison County School Board decided Thursday to end the school year on Friday, May 30.

    April 19, 2014

  • 4-19 TechExtra1.jpg Students showcase projects in Technology Extravaganza

    Madison County School students showed off just how tech savvy they can be during the district’s sixth annual Technology Extravaganza on Thursday at Madison Central High School. After the showcase, more than 350 students were honored for their work.

    April 19, 2014 7 Photos

  • 4-19 SchoolBoardJesseWard.jpg Ward honored for service; tech center named after him

    Retired Madison County educator Jesse Ward was recognized Thursday for his many years of service. To honor him, Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the board’s decision to rename the district’s technology training center on North Second Street in Richmond the Jesse P. Ward Technology and Training Center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Brian Smith.jpg Berea man indicted on 24 child porn counts

    A Madison grand jury has indicted a Berea man on 24 counts related to child pornography.

    Brian J. Smith, 26, is charged with four counts of distribution and 20 counts of possession of matter portraying sexual performances by a minor.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Gregory Powell.jpg Police apprehend burglary suspect

    An observant witness was able to help Richmond police catch a burglary suspect shortly after a break-in Thursday afternoon on Savanna Drive off Berea Road.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18 PackTrack1a.jpg Walkers, runners of every age ‘Pack the Track’

    Waco Elementary and Model Laboratory schools students raised more than $8,000 (and counting) for the annual Pack the Track event at Eastern Kentucky University’s Tom Samuels Track Thursday, said Kim DeCoste of the Madison County Diabetes Coalition.

    April 18, 2014 14 Photos

  • 4-18 George WilliamsWEB.jpg Suicide attempt fatal for inmate

    A Todd County man died Tuesday at a Lexington hospital following a suicide attempt at the Madison County Detention Center, according to Madison and Fayette county officials.
    George Kenneth Williams, 50, of Allensville, was transported Monday afternoon by Madison County EMS to Baptist Health Richmond, according to EMS Director Jimmy Cornelison. He was then transferred to Baptist Health in Lexington where he died Tuesday, according to the Fayette County Coroner’s Office.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • CCDW instructor indicted on charges of failing to provide training

    A Madison County grand jury has indicted a carry-concealed weapons permit instructor on charges he falsely claimed to have provided instruction to one person for a CCDW permit and provided incomplete training to three others.
    Christopher D. Fins was indicted April 9 on one count of CCDW instructor not providing firearms training and three counts of providing incomplete firearms training.
    Fins faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of all four felony charges.

    April 17, 2014

  • EKU dorm sprinklers may have been activated maliciously

    Fire-suppression sprinklers went off about 2:30 a.m. Thursday in Eastern Kentucky University’s Martin Hall dormitory, prompting its evacuation.
    Fluctuating pressure then caused a campus water main to break, according to EKU spokesperson Mark Whitt.
    The cause is uncertain, but university officials are investigating to determine if the sprinklers were activated maliciously, Whitt said.
    The residence hall houses 260 students who were placed in other university housing or stayed with friends. All were able to move back in later in the day, he said.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sixth person charged in motel meth bust

    A sixth person has been charged in connection with a methamphetamine-making operation discovered last week at the Bel Air Motel in Richmond.
    Roger M. Million, 24, Moberly Road, was charged Wednesday with manufacturing methamphetamine.

    April 17, 2014

AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should the Richmond City Commission stop rezoning property to allow construction of apartments?

     View Results