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Virginia Senate to Return Thursday to Deal with Budget Crunch

Following the resignation of Democratic State Senator Phillip Puckett, all 20 Republicans, with the help of Democratic Senator Chuck Colgan have recalled the Senate to the State Capitol this Thursday to pass a budget and put it into conference with the House of Delegates. The GOP is expected to retake control of the Senate Thursday evening and advance a budget free of Medicaid expansion.

The three pro-expansion Senate Republicans say Senate Democratic leader Dick Saslaw has agreed to this in exchange for the passage of a bill that would reform the membership of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission, who has the final say on expanding the program. The Senate Finance Committee Co-Chairman, Republican Walter Stosch of Henrico, says the Senate will propose using the Rainy Day Fund to address half of the state’s $1.35 billion shortfall while making over $700 million in cuts.