Governor Terry McAuliffe announced his intentions Friday (June 20) to expand the state’s Medicaid program administratively without the approval of the legislature and vetoed the General Assembly’s attempts to restrict him from doing so. McAuliffe says Republicans in the General Assembly have bowed to pressure from the Tea Party to deny 400,000 Virginians access to life-saving health care.
The General Assembly returns to the Capitol tonight (June 23) to consider Governor McAuliffe’s line item vetoes to the state budget, including one that sets the stage for him to bypass the legislature to expand Medicaid. It takes a two-thirds majority in both houses to override a Governor’s veto. While the House, which has a Republican supermajority is expected to do so, the Senate where the GOP has a one seat advantage, is expected to sustain his changes.
Analyst Jeff Schapiro says Gov. Terry McAuliffe has several options on how to deal with the legislature's budget and the omission of any form of Medicaid expansion, which he favors. And newly minted congressional nominee David Brat so far is not responding to questions.
Attorney General Mark Herring says his office is implementing a series of reforms that will lead to the biggest advances in efficiency, IT infrastructure and transparency in the AG’s office in a generation, including the way outside counsel is hired. Herring wants to ensure Virginians that outside counsel is being used appropriately and that taxpayers are getting the best bang for their buck when other representation is hired. Outside counsel firms will be prohibited from making campaign contributions to the Attorney General.
This morning Governor Terry McAuliffe will announce his actions on the two-year budget passed by the General Assembly last week, a budget many Democrats and health care advocates have urged him to amend by line item or veto entirely. At the insistence of conservative House Republicans, the new Republican majority in the Senate amended the budget last week to specifically prohibit the Governor from expanding the state’s Medicaid program by executive action.
Governor Terry McAuliffe addressed the Commonwealth Transportation Board yesterday to ask them to rethink how they approve projects, removing politics from the equation. McAuliffe attacked the halted U.S. 460 project as a waste of over 300 million in taxpayer dollars, rushed for political purposes.
GOP Congressional nominee David Brat says he will run a campaign of economic prosperity for Virginians in his first public statement since the primary. He doesn’t have enough phones, he needs computers, but his shockingly unexpected journey to the November general elections moved ahead yesterday, a week after he beat Eric Cantor by 11 percentage points in the Republican primary. Brat spoke briefly with reporters on his way to a Rotary Club breakfast in Midlothian, which was closed to the press.
Former Massachusetts Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney was in Henrico yesterday evening to campaign for Ed Gillespie at the 20th annual Burgers with Bill cookout with former Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling.
Governor Romney says Gillespie’s plan will create 10 million jobs throughout the country. Gillespie says his victory will mean a Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate and a check and balance on the last two years of the Obama administration.
Former Governor Bob McDonnell says he’s disappointed by the Norfolk Circuit Court Judge’s decision last week, ruling unconstitutional one of the hallmark initiatives of his administration, the Opportunity Education Institution or OEI. Governor McDonnell says he’s urging the OEI Board to appeal the decision.
The OEI would act as a statewide school board and take over schools from localities that consistently fail to meet state benchmarks. The former Governor says for young people now trapped in failing schools there are no other options.
The August 19th special election to replace Senator Phil Puckett of Tazewell will determine the balance of power in the state Senate and likely the future legislative agenda of Governor Terry McAuliffe. Mike Hymes, a Tazewell County supervisor and third generation coal miner, is seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat at Wednesday’s nominating convention in Bluefield.
Democrats have seen their numbers shrink in rural communities over the past decade and Puckett’s seat was one of the closest races in the state last November.