Time is ticking on Medicaid expansion

Both the House and Senate have now passed the bill. Governor Bryant's office tells us he does plan to sign it into law. It would take effect July 1. Source WLBT

The Senate passed their budget bill Thursday morning by a vote of 33-0.

Because of the great blue wave of 2017, we now have an essentially divided House of Delegates, barely tipped to Republican control literally by the pulling of a name from a hat in a tied, contested delegate race - hardly a mandate for governing, by any standard.

"We've already dealt with all that we can", Jones said.

But he felt a lot more so after Speaker Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, issued a statement saying the "House budget includes a plan to work with the Trump administration" to expand Medicaid while saying the Senate version "includes a plan to expand the current Medicaid program at a cost of $440 million with no funding to pay for it".

The two House Republicans - who both voted against their chamber's budget because of Medicaid expansion - said they were looking for more information about the Senate's position for members of their own caucus.

While an exact schedule is unclear, House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert said Friday afternoon he expected it to be in the realm of weeks rather than months.

Gov. Ralph Northam could also call a special session. As part of that process, lawmakers must decide whether Virginia will expand Medicaid.

Palestinian killed in clashes with Israeli army
He explained that five people were wounded in eastern Jabalia, one in eastern Gaza city and four others in Khan Younis. According to eyewitnesses in Hebron, Jabri was handicapped and Palestinian media outlets say Jabri was deaf and mute.

If lawmakers do end up passing a budget - but it does not include Medicaid expansion - Northam will likely step in. The House strongly opposed expansion, ultimately defeating the proposal the first of four times during McAuliffe's term.

Jones said Thursday that he will instead allow Dunnavant's bill to die without action in the House, which must complete action on all bills by midnight under the procedural resolution for the assembly session that began January 10.

The budget chairman had sent the legislation to the House floor without a Senate amendment to link enactment to funding in the budget.

Not all Republicans in the House supported the Medicaid expansion.

Now, the long wait begins for a budget, both for changes in the spending plan for the fiscal year that ends on June 30 and the spending plan for the biennium that begins on July 1.

But the House GOP leadership team, except for one, opposed the House budget that Cox supported.

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