The Senate is poised to pass legislation that would extend and phase out enhanced federal Medicaid payments to states for six months through June 30, 2011, as well as provide $10 billion to local school districts to prevent an estimated 140,000 educators from being laid off.

The vote on the legislation — a substitute amendment to an existing transportation bill —  would come after 5:00 p.m. Thursday unless Senate members agree to waive the 30 hours allotted for debate.

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