MONTPELIER (AP) - The Vermont Senate is debating a $1.44 billion general fund budget, with increases for Medicaid providers, health care for retired teachers and affordable housing.

When separate transportation, education and other funds are added in, the state is on track to spend about $5.5 billion in the fiscal year 2015, which begins July 1.

Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Sen. Jane Kitchel says the main concerns her committee heard as it drafted the budget were from health care providers serving Medicaid beneficiaries and from advocates for more affordable housing for low-income Vermonters.

Gov. Peter Shumlin had asked for a 2 percent increase for Medicaid providers. The House trimmed that increase to three-quarters of 1 percent when it passed a budget last month. The Senate bill would restore the 2 percent increase.