Rather than vote, committee might simply do nothing on Medicaid bill

Feb 20, 2014 By Ben Neary, The Associated Press

CHEYENNE -- A legislative committee that heard public testimony Wednesday in favor of a bill that would expand Medicaid in Wyoming didn't vote on the matter and the committee chairman said it likely wouldn't vote Thursday, either.

Sen. Charles Scott, a Casper Republican, said he didn't call the Senate Labor, Health and Social Services Committee back into session Wednesday because the full Senate was working into the evening.

Scott also said he doubted he would call the committee into session to vote on the bill Thursday, the last day for bills to be reported out of committee.

Scott said the bill sponsor, Sen. Chris Rothfuss, D-Laramie, could still push Medicaid expansion through an amendment to the general government appropriations bill this week.

Rothfuss said he was disappointed by Scott's decision not to bring the bill to a vote. He said he has drafted a budget amendment for the expansion and intends to bring it up in the Senate on Friday. However, he said he expects that avenue reduces the measure's chances of success because it will receive less time for debate.

The Wyoming House of Representatives on Wednesday narrowly defeated a budget bill amendment that mirrored Rothfuss' bill. Scott said having the same issue coming forward as a budget amendment made him less willing to "drag the committee through that."

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