Lawmakers have until June 30th to compromise on a budget
RICHMOND—Virginia lawmakers are set to meet in a special session on Monday to begin working on a two-year state budget. The main issue they'll be discussing is Medicaid expansion.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Democrats say it would provide healthcare to hundreds of thousands of uninsured Virginians.
"The Senate Republicans and Democrats have compromised, House Democrats have compromised for medicaid expansion," said Democratic Del. Joe Morrissey from the 74th District.
But House Republicans have opposed the plan from the beginning, instead proposing to debate the issue at a special session on a later date.
"Our stance is pretty clear that it shouldn't be in the budget process," said Republican Delegate Kirk Cox, representing the 66th District.
So far, there has been no sign they'll come to an agreement. But Del. Morrissey says they have to reach a compromise because if a budget isn't passed by June 30, there could be a shutdown.
"The money stops. There are no professors at the University of Virginia to teach students. There are no K-12 public school teachers, and the holes on the roads are getting bigger and are not being paved. It ends there," he said.
But Republicans say they've found support among local governments, which also need to plan their own budgets.
"I think you'll think localities speak up over the next few weeks. Let's get the budget done, take Medicaid out and you guys can debate that later," said Del. Cox.