Request for special session to work on state budget

Request for special session to work on state budget

But most Republicans in both chambers still oppose Medicaid expansion, and leaders in the state Senate said going home isn't going to change their mind. That bill would likely be very similar to the budget submitted to the current session by Gov. Terry McAuliffe before he left office, since new Gov. Ralph Northam endorsed that budget.

The Speaker of the House of delegates, Kirk Cox, is asking for a special session of the General Assembly.

Not even close to agreeing, Senate Republicans bucked their House counterparts and drafted a budget that does include expansion of some health care services but not Medicaid, saying the federal program was not created to cover the "able-bodied" and that the state can't afford its share of the expansion cost.

The budget the House adopted is awash with money for public education, fueled by $371 million in estimated state savings from using enhanced federal Medicaid money for an array of services, such as indigent care at hospitals, local mental health services, and health care for prison inmates. The governor is able to do that when it is deemed necessary or advisable, and must do so when petitioned by two-thirds of the members of both chambers.

The state government will shut down if no budget is passed by July 1, but Jones said he expects a budget pass before then. As part of that process, lawmakers must decide whether Virginia will expand Medicaid. After years of near-uniform opposition, Republicans are now split on the issue with the GOP-led House supporting Medicaid expansion while the GOP-led Senate opposes it.

Earlier on Thursday, Jones asked the House to not act on Senate Bill 915, proposed by Sen.

The budget chairman had sent the legislation to the House floor without a Senate amendment to link enactment to funding in the budget. With just days to go until the General Assembly shutters for the season, lawmakers from our region and around the commonwealth still faced a heavy lift Tuesday in hammering out a state budget compromise.

Not all Republicans in the House supported the Medicaid expansion.

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