RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -
Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed part of a roughly $96 billion two-year budget that is aimed at ensuring the Democratic governor cannot expand Medicaid without legislative approval.
During a news conference Friday, McAuliffe addressed the packed house in a confident and direct tone, chiding lawmakers because the "budget was three months late."
Gov. McAuliffe added, "Frankly if it were not June 20th with only 10 days left in the fiscal year, I may well have vetoed the entire budget." He went on to say he would be signing the budget passed by the General Assembly, but will use his veto power to remove language that would bar him from expanding medicaid without General Assembly approval.
"With Respect to healthcare, let me be clear, I am moving forward," Governor McAuliffe said.
He also took a hard line on GOP leaders, saying "By refusing compromise, Republican House leadership has turned its back on Virginians."
The governor is going to sign the budget plans seven line item vetoes including the budget's limit on Medicaid expansion.
He also plans to veto the proposed partnership between Petersburg and Chesterfield County Schools and funding for the new General Assembly building, which he says wasn't fair to spend the money on a new building instead helping to rid of poverty in the state.
The House Republican Leadership issued a statement shortly after the Governor's press conference; it read in part:
"The Governor's attempt to usurp the constitutionally proscribed powers of the legislative branch is a dangerous threat to the rule of law, separation of powers, and foundation of representative democracy that we simply cannot allow."
8News hit the streets of Richmond and Chesterfield today, asking what citizens thought about the Governor's decision. Most said they do not agree with him.
"Sign it clean, do what the people wanted him to do and then try and bring it up again," Howard Churchill told us.
Jay Louden weighed in, "I think that the governor ought to do what the people want. I just think that if the General Assembly voted to do things one way, then the Governor is really going against what they say."
We'll continue bringing you updates on the state budget; stay with 8News on air and online for the latest.Copyright 2014 Young Broadcasting of Richmond