State funds nearly secured: Hospital funding should be secure with new bill

Published 8:32 am Monday, June 20, 2016

State Sen. Beth Mizell had tentative good news Friday afternoon.

Although the final details of a funding package to make up a $600 deficit aren’t hammered out yet, Mizell said she believes the Senate’s package preserves funding for the state’s safety net hospitals.

Our Lady of the Angels Hospital in Bogalusa is among those hospitals, and if funding is not secured, the hospital might be forced to slash services or personnel.

“I think were in good shape, I really do,” said Mizell. “Yesterday the Senate passed $300-to-$400 million between spending cuts and revenue. The finance committee assured me when we looked at it, and when we looked at the supplemental (finance bill) that there should be money there for the hosp. so I feel pretty confident about it.”

Of course, the vote for the supplemental bill hasn’t been had yet and won’t come until early next week, so Mizell said nothing’s certain quite yet.

“I feel really good about it, but you know what, things can break down,” she said. “So until it’s done, it’s not finished. But I left there yesterday feeling more optimistic than I have in a while.”

The session is scheduled to wrap up next Thursday at midnight, and Mizell said she fears staying the duration.

“One of my colleagues said, and they’ve been there a long time, and he said, ‘You can depend on being here ‘til midnight. It ends at the last minute.”

This is the second special session of the year for state legislators.