The Republican-controlled Senate’s plan for balancing Kentucky’s Medicaid budget has cleared the chamber’s Appropriations and Revenue Committee.

Senate Republicans still want across-the-board cuts to state agencies, including education, to balance Medicaid. But most of the education cuts wouldn’t come until January 31, 2012. And if Governor Beshear attains 82 percent of his projected savings from Medicaid managed care before then, the legislature could rescind the cuts.

“If we do see those savings, I think you’ll see the legislature move to restore those funds. I don’t think we ever questioned it. I’m shocked that anybody would question whether the legislature would move to restore those funds,” says Senate budget chairman Bob Leeper.

Leeper says the plan also halts any further furloughs of state employees, and across-the-board cuts would also apply to the Judicial and Legislative branches of government. The bill, which cleared the budget committee 13-5, now moves to the Senate floor.