Sunday, January 20, 2019

In the News: State budget Medicare expansion possible, budget challenges loom with economic uncertainty

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Low-income seniors would see a break on how much they pay for health care under a plan Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is including in his state budget proposal. 
Under the plan, seniors who earn 130 to 165 percent of the federal poverty level — from just under $16,000 to about $20,000 each year — would be eligible for Medicare savings programs, which help reduce health care expenses, including out-of-pocket costs. 
Currently, seniors earning from 100 to 135 percent of the federal poverty level — from just over $12,100 to $16,400 — are eligible for the savings programs, which also help cover hospital and general medical services. They also automatically qualify for help with prescription drug coverage. 
Baker’s budget would set aside about $10 million in state dollars for the expansion, which would leverage about $100 million in additional federal Medicare dollars for nearly 40,000 seniors — 25,000 of whom are currently not eligible."
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"Gov. Charlie Baker is preparing to submit his latest state budget to the Legislature amid signs of a looming economic slowdown and calls by some on Beacon Hill to raise taxes for education and other initiatives. 
With a booming economy and record job growth, Massachusetts ended its most recent fiscal year with a more than $1 billion surplus. About half the extra cash was used to replenish the state’s reserves, better known as the “rainy day fund.” 
Robust revenues continued through the early months of the fiscal year that began July 1, triggering an automatic reduction in the state income tax."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The MA budget process kicks of in earnest when the Governor delivers his proposal by the 4th Wednesday of January. (Jan 23)

Franklin depends upon State funding for its budget. Funding for schools, local aid and roads account for approx 30% of the total Franklin budget. Getting a reasonable estimate of this funding from the State enables Franklin to start its own budget cycle for FY 2020.

The State budget cycle for FY 2019 (the current budget) is shown here. The steps are the same for the new budget cycle for FY 2020.

State budget cycle for FY 2019
State budget cycle for FY 2019

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