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‘Budget Heroine’ Gets Her Reward

<i> Associated Press</i>

The woman who became Massachusetts’ “budget heroine” when she found a way to bail the state out of its deficit took home her own reward Friday.

Gov. William F. Weld met privately with Kathleen Betts and her family to give her $10,000, which was authorized by the Massachusetts Legislature.

Betts, who earns $14,000 a year in a part-time job with the Department of Public Welfare, spotted a regulation in January that Massachusetts used to claim a $510-million Medicaid reimbursement from the federal government.

The reimbursement has grown by $21 million since June, when Weld first announced the budget bonanza, which left the state in the black for the first time in three years.

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After meeting with the governor, Betts said her story has boosted the morale of other state workers.

“I think, from the letters I received throughout Massachusetts and other states, what they’ve picked up on is that acknowledgement was given to state workers, and state workers have been bashed across the United States,” Betts said.


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