by Channel 2 News staff
5:20 AM AKDT, August 5, 2010
Alaska's U.S. senators split on legislation that would extend increased federal support for Medicaid funding.
Democrat Mark Begich voted with the majority in supporting the measure, while Republican Lisa Murkowski opposed it.
The measure would provide $16 billion to help states fund their Medicaid budgets, and $10 billion in emergency education aid aimed at avoiding mass layoffs. Alaska faces a Medicaid funding gap without a continuation of the federal support.
Begich said the bill will save the state from putting $47 million more in general funds toward the program, and allow it to focus on other priorities. But Murkowski believes the bill will simply postpone tough budget decisions.
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