Finding ways to help counties pay for Medicaid is such a big issue it could overshadow state budget discussions.
Senate Democrats say they're committed to finding a long-term solution to take over paying roughly 500 million dollars that the 100 counties now pay for Medicaid expenses. The Senate has floated some proposals, including one that would allow the state to take a portion of sales, food and corporate income taxes that's now earmarked for local governments.
The House set aside 100 million dollars in its budget in one-time relief and is interested in a permanent plan to rid the counties of the expense.
But Medicaid is one of many items local governments want from the General Assembly, and some of them could extend or derail negotiations on Medicaid.