Lawmakers seeking input Wednesday on proposed state budget

Capitol Connection

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — On Wednesday, Virginia’s House Appropriations and Senate Finance committees will hold regional public hearings on Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s final proposed spending plan.

McAuliffe presented his biennial state budget proposal to lawmakers in December. It would cover fiscal years 2019 and 2020.

To read the governor’s address to the Joint General Assembly Money Committees, click HERE.

The spending plan works as a starting point for negotiations for the upcoming General Assembly session. The first day is Jan. 10.

Unsurprisingly, money for Medicaid expansion is included yet again in the Democrat’s pitch. It’s something Republicans have rejected in the past and McAuliffe has unsuccessfully gone after his whole term.

Gov.-elect Ralph Northam, who will inherit the two-year budget, agrees Medicaid expansion should be at the top of the priority list this session.

He gives McAuliffe’s proposal a thumbs up.

“We feel very strongly that this is a great budget for the Commonwealth,” he said. “Obviously we’re going to work with the House and the Senate and, at the end of the day, do what’s in the best interest of Virginia.”

McAuliffe also pitched a 2 percent pay raise for teachers and state workers, $150 million a year to help pay for improvements to the Metro in northern Virginia and padding the state’s rainy day fund with “every available dime.”

Republicans have said funding that cash reserve is a top priority for them.

Wednesday’s public hearings on the governor’s proposed budget will take place in Loudoun County, Radford, Virginia Beach and Richmond.

If you would like to speak, you can register at each hearing site no earlier than one hour prior to the start of the hearing. Comments will be limited to three minutes.

For more information, check the list below or click HERE.

Loudoun County (10 a.m.) – Northern VA Community College at Loudoun, Waddell Building, 21200 Campus Drive, Sterling

Radford (10 a.m.) – Radford University, Kyle Hall, 801 East Main Street, Radford

Virginia Beach (12 p.m.) – Tidewater Community College, Virginia Beach Campus, Student Center, 1700 College Crescent, Virginia Beach

Richmond (12 p.m.) – Science Museum of Virginia, Dewey Gottwald Center, 2500 West Broad Street, Richmond

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