Colorado State Archives
Executive Orders from the Administration of Governor Bill Owens 1999-2005
Dan Hopkins 303-866-6324
Mark Salley 303-866-6323
(DENVER) – Gov. Bill Owens today signed legislation restoring Medicaid benefits for legal immigrants.
"Restoring these benefits has been one of my priorities and I appreciate the bipartisan support in the legislature that allowed this bill to pass so quickly," Owens said. "Our work, however, is not complete. HB 1086 identifies a funding source for just six months. It is very important that this program rely on a long-term funding source."
Last November, Owens proposed using revenue from the recently approved tobacco tax increase to continue the Medicaid benefits for the legal immigrants in the next fiscal year.
Joining the Governor at the signing were bill sponsors Rep. Tom Plant (D-Nederland) and Sen. Abel Tapia (D-Pueblo).
During the budget shortfall in 2003, the legislature removed the Medicaid coverage for legal immigrants, something that is optional under federal Medicaid guidelines. HB 1086 funds the coverage for some 3,500 low-income legal immigrants for a six month period.
"Thanks to this legislation, several thousand children, adults and seniors who have legally come to the United States in search of a better life can again be confident that their adopted state will provide them with much needed health care," Owens said.
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