The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation Tuesday to provide support to local school districts to prevent teacher layoffs and continue increased federal Medicaid assistance to states. U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) voted in favor of H.R. 1586, the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act. The legislation now goes to the President to be signed into law.
"This legislation will allow 214 public school teachers in northern Michigan to keep their jobs, ensuring our students receive the best education possible," Stupak said. "As we work to implement long-term economic solutions and create new jobs, saving current jobs in our communities helps provide an important boost to our local economies."
H.R. 1586 provides $10 billion to states within 45 days of the President signing the legislation for additional support to local schools to prevent imminent layoffs. Based on federal education funding formulas, it is estimated the funding will save 214 jobs in the First District and 4,200 teacher jobs across Michigan.
The legislation also extends increased federal assistance to states for Medicaid matching funds. Under the stimulus, or American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, federal matching rates were increased by 6.2 percent. This increase was set to expire December 31, 2010. Under H.R. 1586 it will be extended an additional six months, but at phased down levels. Instead of receiving an additional 6.2 percent in funding, states will receive an additional 3.2 percent from January through March 2011 and an additional 1.2 percent from April through June 2011. This will ensure states continue to receive increased matching funds throughout the state fiscal year 2011, helping to prevent additional layoffs in both the public and private sectors.
"This extension in increased Medicaid matching dollars means Michigan's Medicaid costs can continue to be covered without cutting into other important statewide programs," Stupak said. "It is during difficult economic times that programs like Medicaid, which assist families that are struggling with medical care costs, are most important."
H.R. 1586 is fully paid for by closing tax loopholes to prevent corporations from shipping jobs overseas and spending cuts from federal programs that no longer require funding or have sufficient funding already in place.