Feds likely to help with state Medicaid bill after all
The deal still must be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, but House members have been far more supportive than the Senate.
Nevertheless, any money from the feds will reduce the amount O'Malley will need to borrow from the income tax reserve fund and will leave whoever wins in November with a healthier cash balance.
O'Malley has taken some flak from the conservative Americans for Prosperity for offering a budget that relied on federal money. Dave Schwartz, the group's executive director, said the issue has surfaced at budget-themed town hall meetings and he questioned the governor about it during a recent Board of Public Works meeting.
Schwartz said their group is keeping an eye on what Congress does, and is still annoyed with the governor. "This is just not how you balance budgets," he said. "People at home don't balance budgets on what might come through."
The Senate, apparently also worried about Congress balking on the promised money, inserted a budget provision that allowed the state to borrow from the income tax fund to keep Maryland's spending plan balanced. Other states, including New York, face wide-spread layoffs if the money does not materialize.