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Republicans Want To Hire Own Attorney To Represent State In Same Sex Marriage Case

Virginia House Republicans have introduced legislation that would allow them to hire lawyers to defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban in court. Attorney General Mark Herring won’t do it, so House Republicans have simply decided to go over his head and send someone else.

Cantor Declines To Speculate On Loss

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor declined to speculate on why he lost the primnary election June 10 and conceded that his views on immigration, “can make a lot of people mad.” On a national TV program, the ousted Republican Congressman told CNN, “I really don’t think that there is any one reason for the outcome of the election, there are just a lot of things that go through voters’ minds when they go through the voting booth.” He conceded his views on immigration angered some members of both parties.

Democratic Leader Calls for Investigation of Puckett Resignation

The House of Delegates Democratic Minority Leader David Toscano says he will call for an Inspector General’s investigation into the resignation of former Senator Phillip Puckett, which gave control of the Senate to the Republicans. On the House floor Thursday night Toscano raised questions about whether Puckett’s resignation was given in exchange for a 6 figure job with the state Tobacco Commission.

Government Shutdown Averted; Medicaid Expansion Out; GA Passes Austere Budget

The Senate Finance Committee has advanced a new state budget without Medicaid expansion, a major step towards ending a months-long stalemate. Averting a possible government shutdown with less than three weeks to spare, the General Assembly passed an austere, two-year budget late last night after hours of behind-the-scenes wrangling over Medicaid expansion.

Cantor Defeat Emboldened Tea Party Against Medicaid

Supporters of Medicaid expansion on both sides of the aisle say Eric Cantor’s defeat this week emboldened Tea Party conservatives in the General Assembly in their opposition to using federal dollars to expand health care services for the poor. At the insistence of a group conservative Republican members, the legislature inserted an amendment into the budget prohibiting Governor McAuliffe from taking executive action on Medicaid without the approval of the legislature. Governor McAuliffe says he will carefully be evaluating the budget and will take actions he deems necessary.

Assembly Passes Budget Without Medicaid Expansion

The General Assembly has ended its three-month standoff and passed a two-year budget without Medicaid expansion. At the insistence of a group conservative Republican members, the legislature inserted an amendment into the budget prohibiting Governor McAuliffe from taking executive action on Medicaid without the approval of the legislature. Governor McAuliffe says he will  be evaluating  the budget carefully and will take actions he deems necessary. Though population and the need for state services has grown, state spending will remain essentially flat.

Cantor Will Resign as Majority Leader July 31st

Congressman Eric Cantor says he will resign as U.S. Majority Leader by July 31st in order to avoid a messy fight to name his successor. Though he will no longer be Majority Leader, Cantor will remain in Congress until his term expires in January.

Cantor called on the GOP to put their differences aside and help elect a Republican House and Senate. Cantor says should Majority Whip and fellow Young Guns author Kevin McCarthy choose to run for Majority Leader that he will support him.

House and Senate Negotiators Reach Budget Deal

House and Senate budget negotiators have reached an agreement on the state’s two year spending plan and the General Assembly returns to Capitol Square today to consider it’s passage.

The plan reduces the new spending introduced in Governor McDonnell’s outgoing budget in December, by over 800 million dollars. The rest of the state’s projected 1.55 billion shortfall will be offset by the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

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