It's still unclear whether lawmakers will consider a proposal to expand the state's Medicaid program during the upcoming 2016 session.

A legislative committee is expected to decide in January if the optional Medicaid expansion will be included as part of its 2017-18 budget bill that will go before the full Legislature.

Most of the members of the 12-person Joint Appropriations Committee have previously opposed expanding Medicaid, but several say they aren't yet sure how they'll vote on the proposal.

Governor Matt Mead is urging lawmakers to approve the expansion, which would extend health coverage to about 20,000 residents.

Lawmakers could still bring a stand-alone bill during the session, but it would need to clear a two-thirds majority vote to be introduced.