JFAC corrections

Members of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, including, from left, Reps. Wendy Horman, Melissa Wintrow, and Sally Toone, and Sen. Jim Woodward, examine the state corrections budget during a hearing on Tuesday morning, Jan. 14, 2020.

The Community-Based Substance Abuse Treatment portion of the Idaho Department of Correction budget shows a big drop in the governor’s recommended budget for next year – 29.7% less in state general funds. That’s almost entirely due to Medicaid expansion. Josh Tewalt, state corrections chief, said 93% of the parolees and probationers currently receiving services through the division are eligible for the newly expanded Medicaid program, so the state will save $2.8 million, including $1.7 million from the state general fund and $1.04 million from the Idaho Millennium Income Fund. The federal government pays 90 percent of the costs of expanded Medicaid; previously, the state paid for 100 percent of the cost of these services for this offender population.

There’s also another $1.6 million in savings anticipated in the Medical Services division of the Corrections budget due to Medicaid expansion.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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