(Sean Whaley/Nevada News Bureau) – Nevada’s budget woes aren’t only coming from the revenue side, where tax collections for the first quarter of this fiscal year are already off by $53 million.
A legislative panel was told yesterday that state general fund spending on Medicaid is projected to be $55 million more than budgeted by June 30, 2011 due to higher than expected caseload growth.
The shortfall is about triple that amount when federal funds that also support the state Medicaid program in the current two-year budget are included, said Mike Willden, director of the Department of Health and Human Services.
He reported on the status of the Medicaid budget to the Legislative Committee on Health Care.
“So we’re evaluating all the options, working with the budget office and the governor’s office, as to how we close that gap,” Willden said.
There has been some good news in the last couple of weeks where a flattening in the caseload growth has been observed, he said.
Gov. Jim Gibbons has asked state agencies to prepare budgets showing what a 1.4 percent and 3 percent spending cut would mean to their programs and services in preparation for action to keep the state budget balanced.
A special session of the Legislature to deal with the budget issues may be needed but won’t come before late January at the earliest.