08.10.10

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On Final Passage Of The Health/Education Jobs Bill

Vermont Expected To Net Much-Needed $37 Million For Medicaid, $19 Million For Teaching Jobs

(Bill Passed The House 247-161 Tuesday Afternoon)

Bill Now Goes To President For Signing

I am pleased that in a rare emergency session, the House has joined the Senate in passing this bill to save teaching jobs and to extend supplemental Medicaid payments to states.  It is easy to see why this bill has been one of Vermont’s highest priorities in the Congress.  This is a timely influx of education dollars for Vermont, coming just as schools throughout Vermont are facing tough cuts in the two upcoming school years.  Vermont also urgently needs these health care dollars.  The economic downturn has meant more Vermonters have been relying on our state-run Medicaid program for basic health care, and that is straining Vermont’s budget.  The $37 million in supplemental federal funds for health care, extending the Medicaid budget relief for Vermont included in last year’s economic recovery act, will help the state maintain current health services that are vital to so many Vermonters.  Despite months of obstruction preventing passage of this bill, Congress finally has done the right thing to help teachers, students, and struggling households throughout Vermont and across the country.

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