Legislature cutting funding for state-sponsored programs

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(KSL News) The Legislature is starting to carve up some state-sponsored programs so it can slash the budget by 15 percent. That's more than double the amount Governor Huntsman recommended when he introduced the state budget for 2009.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports programs like Meals on Wheels and prevention programs will take big hits, losing, in some cases, as much as 38 percent of state funding.

Critics warn the cuts could end up costing the state more money in the long run.

Another victim of those cuts is Medicaid. Considered the leanest in the country, Utah's Medicaid program stands to get even worse if the Legislature cuts its budget by 15 percent because the federal government matches Utah's Medicaid funding 3-to-1.

That means Medicaid could also lose more than $100 million in federal funding if the state cuts back.

A Medicaid representative told the Salt Lake Tribune that kind of budget cut could bottom the program out, leading to significant cuts in service and programs.

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