undergroundnewsroom.com March 23, 2018

State budget talks break down; special session likely

11 March 2018, 01:38 | Damon Campbell

State Senate introduces bill to add work requirements to Medicaid

State budget talks break down; special session likely

This would be the first time the assembly has adjourned without a budget or convened in special session since 2014, when the House and Senate deadlocked on the proposed expansion of Medicaid during the first year of Gov. Terry McAuliffe's term. After the House of Delegates votes on their version and a conference committee meets, it will be sent to the governor for his signature.

According to Republican Finance Chair Craig Blair, the budget includes no tax increases and includes an addition 21 million in funding for the PEIA Stability Fund.

"I think it is imperative that we move forward to make progress on finding a resolution to this budget impasse which, in round numbers, is about $843 million apart", Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment said. Blair. "This is a historical event".

As the 2018 General Assembly session draws to a close Saturday, there is still a hot button issue that needs to be resolved - Medicaid expansion.

Then, the Senate had proposed Marketplace Virginia as a private insurance approach to using federal dollars under the Affordable Care Act to expand Medicaid coverage for hundreds of thousands of uninsured Virginians.

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Gov. Ralph Northam could also call a special session.

However, Norment said he's strongly opposed to expansion.

While many bills have passed or been killed in the last two months, there are still dozens being considered in both chambers.

Earlier on Thursday, Jones asked the House to defer action on Senate Bill 915, proposed by Sen.

If lawmakers do end up passing a budget - but it does not include Medicaid expansion - Northam will likely step in. As Del. Kathy Byron, who represents a large northeastern area of Franklin County, explained in her weekly newsletter: "Effectively, the House budget is putting the Commonwealth's fiscal future at grave risk, signing onto a funding stream that the White House and Republicans in Congress are committed to abolishing". 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.

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