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Budget Cuts Likely as Virginia Ends FY2014 With Revenue Gap

Virginia ended the 2014 fiscal year with $89 million less than projected last month, which will likely lead to cuts in the newly adopted budget.

Aside from new investments in a handful of programs such as mental health services and domestic violence prevention, the two-year spending plan adopted by the General Assembly and signed by Governor McAuliffe last month was essentially flat over the previous budget.

GOP Calls Special Medicaid Session

The Speaker of the House of Delegates, William Howell, and the  Republican Leader of the State Senate, Thomas Norment, have called a special session of the General Assembly for September 22nd to debate Medicaid expansion. The Republicans say they are honoring a commitment they made this year during the regular session, to debate Medicaid separately from the budget.

Governor McAuliffe has tasked Secretary of Health Bill Hazel with producing a report by September 1, detailing how the Governor could expand Medicaid administratively.

Puckett Emails Released

Newly released emails show the interim director of the Virginia tobacco commission was uneasy about the timing of a potential job offer to former Democratic State Senator Phil Puckett, whose recent resignation has been investigated by the FBI. The emails were obtained by the Associated Press and show the GOP controlled commission appeared to create a position solely for Puckett and even solicited his input in crafting the job description.

Libertarian Sarvis Qualifies for U.S. Senate Ballot

Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate Robert Sarvis has collected 10,000 signatures and been officially certified for the November ballot. Sarvis says both Democratic Senator Mark Warner and Republican Ed Gillespie are big government candidates.

Libertarians in 7 of Virginia’s 11 congressional districts have made the ballot this cycle, including the 7th, where James Carr could have an impact against Democrat Jack Trammell and Republican Dave Brat, after the stunning primary defeat of Eric Cantor earlier this month.

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