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Connecticut Lawmakers To Restore Medicare Funding

Jessica Hill

Connecticut lawmakers have rescheduled Friday’s special session for Monday because of the snow. The lawmakers want to use the session to restore funding to a program that helps elderly and disabled state residents cover Medicare expenses. 

Connecticut lawmakers need to fix the state’s Medicare Savings Program because of cuts they made to the program in the two-year state budget they passed last October. Governor Malloy has put off implementing the $54 million in cuts until the end of the fiscal year. He says he’s concerned that the legislature might restore the funding in a way that’s not fiscally sound. Malloy would prefer lawmakers deal with the deficit.

But Democratic Senate President Martin Looney says lawmakers are going ahead with their plan, saying, “The members of the General Assembly still would be willing to go forward with legislation to send a clear message to the seniors that we are attempting to change that part of the budget by statute, rather than having it just happen administratively.”

Looney says lawmakers will begin bipartisan discussions on the deficit. But nothing much can be done until after consensus figure on the state’s latest quarterly income tax receipts and some holiday sales tax receipts are in by mid-January. Connecticut’s deficit is currently estimated to be about $224 million for this fiscal year that ends on June 30.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.