March 14, 2013 at 10:48 AM
State budget shortfall grows by $300 million
OLYMPIA — The state’s budget shortfall grew by $300 million Thursday, primarily because the state miscalculated how much money it would save from moving certain Medicaid patients to managed care.
The hit means the budget shortfall lawmakers must close is now roughly $1.3 billion. And that’s not counting additional money the state Supreme Court says the Legislature must put into education. Many legislators are expecting more bad news when the revenue forecast comes out next week.
The biggest driver behind the increase is related to a move in the last budget approved by the Legislature to move certain people on Medicaid from a fee-for-service plan to a managed care plan, state officials said. The state significantly overestimated how much money would be saved in doing so.
The new numbers came from a Washington State Caseload Forecast Council briefing Thursday.
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