Ahead of session, legislative bills trickle in

Bills related to Medicaid and the governor’s power to accept additional federal money for a budget item are included in the first batch of measures filed ahead of the upcoming legislative session.

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They follow Gov. Bill Walker’s actions last year to expand Medicaid after legislators tabled the issue for further review.

Walker followed a process in state law by which a governor can go through a certain committee when seeking to spend more in federal or other funds than allocated by lawmakers for a budget item. Even if the panel disagrees, a governor can proceed.

Legislation proposed by Republican Rep. Mike Hawker would provide a way for lawmakers to restrict that with budget language.

Hawker also has proposed conditions for Medicaid expansion to continue.

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