Republican State Senator Emmett Hanger of Augusta sent a letter to House of Delegates Appropriations Chairman, Republican Chris Jones of Suffolk that could move the General Assembly closer to a deal on the state budget.
In the letter Hanger, a supporter of Medicaid expansion who chairs the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission or MIRC, proposes that the Senate decouple Medicaid expansion from the budget in exchange for reforming the MIRC so it can no longer block Medicaid expansion.
Republican Delegate John O’Bannon of Henrico, a House budget conferee, called Hanger’s idea a serious proposal. O’Bannon says failing to meet the June 30th budget deadline could put the state’s AAA Bond Rating at risk.
The letter comes after state officials revealed this week that Virginia could face a 1.35 billion dollar revenue shortfall.