- Associated Press - Monday, April 29, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee lawmakers are inching closer to resolving divisions surrounding the state’s $38.5 billion budget, working hours behind closed doors hashing out the final details for next year’s spending plan.

The latest budget proposal unveiled Monday includes $27.3 million to fund the so-called Katie Beckett program - which helps parents care for severely disabled children at home.

Senate lawmakers had previously raised concerns about the program’s funding source but ultimately agreed to reduce other initiatives to secure the funding.

The program was named for an Iowa girl whose health plight led President Reagan to change Medicaid’s rules in 1981. It allows states to extend services to children even if their parents aren’t poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. It helps pay for therapy and medical equipment to maintain kids at home.

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