The U.S. Senate today passed a massive funding bill that South Carolina has been waiting on, that means funding for state Medicaid programs, and will save thousands of jobs in public education. Education officials say it will avoid layoffs for approximately 3000 public education employees in South Carolina, mostly teachers.
The 61-39 Senate vote came after Democrats beat back Republican attempts to extend expiring tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration. It includes a six-month extension of the enhanced state Medicaid programs, a continuation the higher federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP), which was raised temporarily as a provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The $26 billion plan will save the jobs of around 300,000 teachers, law enforcement and other public employees nationwide.
The U.S. House will suspend its August break to reconvene next week to vote on the measure. The House and Senate must pass the legislation in identical form before it can be sent to President Obama for signing.