Medicaid expansion fight delaying work on next Kansas budget

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A legislative fight over expanding Medicaid in Kansas is delaying approval of the state’s next annual budget.

Some top GOP lawmakers are conceding that expansion could pass. Expansion is a priority for Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and has bipartisan support in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

However, opponents are hoping for time to develop a smaller program than Kelly wants with a work requirement and other restrictions she opposes.

Expansion became a sticking point in negotiations between the House and Senate on budget issues. It caused them to put off votes until May on any part of the budget for the fiscal year beginning in July.

Expansion costs are hotly debated, but the disagreement in budget talks is over how much to tie Kelly’s hands in pursuing expansion this year.

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