The New Hampshire legislature is poised to adopt a two-year budget.
On Thursday afternoon the Committee of Conference on the Budget, made up of legislators from both bodies, passed a $10.7 billion budget its members had negotiated.
The 400 members of the state House of Representatives and 24 members of the Senate are expected to gather in Concord Wednesday and approve the plan. Because of a missed noon Thursday deadline, the Senate will need to muster a two thirds vote to suspend the rules before it can vote on the budget.
If the two bodies approve the budget, it would go to Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan. She has expressed general support for it.
Republican and Democrats have been arguing about whether to broaden eligibility for Medicaid benefits starting on Jan. 1, which is part of the federal health-care overhaul. In these expansions the federal government picks up the full cost for the first three years and then 90% of the cost thereafter.
The committee version of the budget authorizes the creation of a commission to study the impact of Medicaid expansion and issue a report by Oct. 15. After the report, legislative leaders could hold a special session to vote on authorizing expansion. Alternately, Hassan could have a special session.
The Medicaid expansion would add those under age 65 who earn up to 138% of federal poverty guidelines.