Despite a veto threat, the legislature defied Gov. Dannel P. Malloy by voting in special session Monday to restore $54 million for the popular Medicare Savings Program that affects more than 100,000 people.

Lawmakers had originally cut funding last year for the program, which uses Medicaid money to allow low-income senior citizens and the disabled to pay for Part B premiums, co-pays, and deductibles.

Seniors began complaining when they learned late last year that the money had been cut as part of the bipartisan state budget that was signed into law on Halloween. Hearing the outcry, the legislature crafted a bipartisan plan in recent weeks to restore the money.

Following brief debates Monday, the money was restored by votes of 130-3 in the state House of Representatives and 32-1 in the state Senate. The votes were far beyond veto-proof margins, which are 101 votes in the House and 24 in the Senate.

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Despite Veto Threat, Legislature Restores Medicaid Cuts