The General Assembly has adjourned without a budget and no agreement on expanding the state’s Medicaid program. The current House and Senate budget drafts are now dead with the adjournment of the regular session. Governor Terry McAuliffe has called a special session bringing the legislature back to Richmond on March 24th. They will then amend and try to find a compromise on a new budget that the Governor will introduce at that time. This is the fifth time the legislature has gone into overtime because of a budget impasse since 2001.
Articles by Craig Carper
Before leaving town on Saturday, the legislature passed several significant bills.. Craig Carper reports.
Governor Terry McAuliffe has announced a major Medicaid reform he says clears the way for some form of expansion, while the House and Senate held procedural votes that set the stage for the General Assembly to adjourn March 8 without a budget. McAuliffe announced the launch of Commonwealth Coordinated Care, a program that will blend into one plan and coordinate Medicare and Medicaid benefits for 78,000 Virginians now eligible for both programs.
A bill that would increase funding to Virginia’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces, as well as establish a child abuse prevention training program in elementary schools has stalled in a House of Delegates committee. The Commonwealth's two Internet Crimes Against Children task forces, or ICACs, which track and prosecute child sexual predators, are funded by a $10 fee on all felony convictions statewide. Democratic state Senator Creigh Deeds patroned legislation in the Senate that would increase this fee from $10 to $15 dollars.
House Republicans are again calling on the Senate to remove their Medicaid expansion alternative plan from the budget and for Governor McAuliffe to call a special session on the issue. Craig Carper reports.
Yesterday lawmakers from both sides of the aisle offered kind words in tribute to their former colleague, State Senator Benjamin Lambert of Richmond. Craig Carper reports.
The General Assembly has passed a bill that would outlaw posting sexually explicit photos of someone online without their consent and the intent to cause them substantial emotional distress. Craig Carper reports.
Senate Democrats say they are willing to amend their Medicaid expansion alternative plan, to include 4-year audits as proposed by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, something the House has previously supported, when separated from expansion. Craig Carper reports.
The state’s five leading mental health advocacy groups say the Senate’s Medicaid expansion alternative proposal is the missing link to this year’s efforts to reform Virginia’s mental health system. Craig Carper reports.
The House and Senate have passed multiple mental health reform bills this session and proposed increased funding for crisis services, though child advocates say kids have been forgotten in the process. Craig Carper reports.