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Hawaii could take $86 million hit after defeat of bill in U.S. Senate

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HONOLULU » Defeat in the U.S. Senate of an unemployment benefits bill could cost Hawaii $86 million in federal funds for the state’s Medicaid program.

The measure stalled yesterday when Democrats fell three votes short of ending a Republican filibuster.

The rejected bill would have provided $16 billion in new aid to states, including six-month extensions of weekly unemployment benefits and Medicaid programs for indigent adults.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington think tank, Hawaii stands to lose $86 million in Medicaid funds in the fiscal year that begins next month.

State House Finance Committee Chairman Marcus Oshiro says the governor may have to seek an emergency appropriation to cover that loss.

 

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