Capitol to Capitol
An Information Service of NCSL's Standing Committees

Volume 17   Issue 26 - August 6, 2010  


Yesterday, the Senate passed H.R.1586, legislation providing states with $26 billion in additional Medicaid/Title IV-E and education funding for state FY 2011 budgets. H.R. 1586 would extend the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) enhanced Medicaid match for six additional months from January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011 at rates lower than the 6.2 percent match rate in ARRA. The enhanced match rate for the quarter of Jan. 1, 2011 through Mar 31, 2011 will be 3.2 percent above the federal medical assistance percentage a state is scheduled to receive. For the quarter Apr. 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011, the enhanced match rate declines to 1.2 percent. The hold harmless for bonus payments to states with the highest levels of unemployment would continue thru Dec. 31, 2010. Overall, states will share $16 billion in additional Medicaid funding, which NCSL supports. On the education side of the ledger, $10 billion will be made available to states in additional K-12 education funding if a quartet of maintenance of effort provisions are met. Senate passage of H.R. 1586 marks the fourth consecutive time that chamber has extracted provisions from larger, more expensive “jobs bills” and found offsets to cover the costs of limited topic legislation. H.R. 1586’s offsets include foreign tax credits and rescissions of select ARRA-related funds including food stamps and rural broadband. 

With the Senate’s 61-39 approval of H.R. 1586, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced her intention to call the House back from its recess next week to act on this legislation on August 10. NCSL recommends that legislators contact their House members and urge them to support the extension of the enhanced Medicaid funding. Given the congressional calendar and fall election, H.R. 1586 may well be the last “jobs-type bill” in position to reach the President’s desk prior to the November elections. (NCSL staff contacts: Joy Johnson Wilson, Rachel Morgan (Medicaid), Michael Bird, Jeff Hurley (fiscal issues generally), Sheri Steisel, Lee Posey (Title IV-E))