- Associated Press - Friday, January 29, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Latest on a piece of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Medicaid expansion plan going before state lawmakers (all times local):

10:00 a.m.

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration has postponed a legislative hearing on the hiring plans associated with the governor’s efforts to expand Louisiana’s Medicaid program.

The joint House and Senate budget committee had been scheduled Friday to consider a request from the Department of Health and Hospitals to hire 248 new employees to sign people up for the expanded coverage.

But instead the item was pulled from the agenda.

The vote, from the majority Republican committee, was expected to be the first test of whether GOP lawmakers will try to create roadblocks for the Democratic governor’s expansion plan.

Edwards’ chief financial adviser, Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, says the request was delayed because the administration didn’t have enough time to speak with individual committee members about the details of the hiring plan.

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7 a.m.

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ plan to expand Louisiana’s Medicaid program is facing its first legislative test. The Democratic governor’s administration is seeking support to hire new health department workers to sign people up for the expanded coverage.

The Department of Health and Hospitals wants to add 248 new employees to handle enrollment of the thousands of people expected to newly qualify for Medicaid.

The joint House and Senate budget committee, whose members are majority Republican, is scheduled to consider the hiring plan Friday, at its first meeting since Edwards took office this month.

The hiring proposal would cost $10.3 million this budget year, according to information provided to the committee, with $7.3 million paid by the federal government. The remaining $3 million would be paid by health providers, like hospitals and clinics.

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