MA could get $655M after bill clears key vote

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CBS

CBS

Massachusetts could get an additional $655 million in federal Medicaid dollars under a bill that cleared a key vote in the U.S. Senate.

Massachusetts lawmakers and Gov. Deval Patrick built their original budget projections for the 2011 fiscal year anticipating the money. They were forced to dip into the state’s rainy day fund and make $457 million in last-minute cuts when a GOP filibuster in the Senate blocked it.

Among those cuts was a $20 million reduction to programs for developmentally disabled children and other cuts to health services.

Senate Democrats on Wednesday overcame Republican opposition and cleared the way or the $26 billion spending bill.

Massachusetts senators voted on opposite sides. Democrat John Kerry supported the bill. Republican Scott Brown voted against it, saying there were other ways to pay for it.

The House, under pressure to help hard-pressed schools nationwide, was being called back from its summer break for an expected final vote next week.

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