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Assembly 2014: Virginia House and Senate Introduce Conflicting Budgets

The House of Delegates and state Senate have introduced their amended versions of former Governor McDonnell’s outgoing budget. The most notable difference in the competing drafts of the $96 billion, two-year spending plan, is the Senate’s inclusion of a private insurance-based alternative to expanding Medicaid, available to everyone earning below 400 percent of the poverty level. This significant expansion to Virginia’s health care safety net is the brainchild of Republican Senator John Watkins of Powhatan.  He calls it Marketplace Virginia.