More than 100,000 people who could lose state payments to help them afford Medicare-related expenses will now have a two-month reprieve.
The recently passed state budget changed the eligibility for the payments, leaving many elderly and disabled people struggling to afford their coverage. The changes would save the state $130 million. But both lawmakers and the Department of Social Services have faced a deluge of criticism from affected families.
Now the state Department of Social Services says it will delay implementation of the changes until at least March 1st.
Lawmakers met today to discuss the issue with Governor Dannel Malloy.
Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz gave no assurances, but he said the legislature will address the problem. “We want to fix it," he said in a press conference after the meeting. "We understand it is a major problem that’s affecting a great many citizens of the state of Connecticut and we want to fix it. And we’re going to do everything we can to do that.”
It's still not clear whether lawmakers will meet in special session to address this or the wider budget deficit.
State Comptroller Kevin Lembo is now projecting a $207.8 million for the current fiscal year. That's above the level that requires the implementation of a formal deficit mitigation plan. Governor Malloy told the legislators he’s working on a set of proposals to submit to the General Assembly.