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RI Governor Weighs in on Budget Gridlock in Richmond - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

RI Governor Weighs in on Budget Gridlock in Richmond

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RI Governor Lincoln Chafee (right) speaks to Larry Sabato's (left) Introduction to American Politics class. RI Governor Lincoln Chafee (right) speaks to Larry Sabato's (left) Introduction to American Politics class.

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee has some advice for Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, as budget gridlock continues in Richmond.

The one-time Republican, turned Democrat spoke to students at the University of Virginia Wednesday afternoon. Chafee has a unique background that sets him apart from many in modern politics. He's served in all levels of government, and in both political parties.

It was the topic of partisanship that dominated much of his conversation with Dr. Larry Sabato's Introduction to American Politics class Wednesday. Chafee says it's the responsibility of political leaders to put down politics, reach across the aisle, and engage constituents on difficult issues.

“I do think that everybody is getting tired of the gridlock, and whether it's locally or federally it's becoming the issue,” he said.

As far as "the issue" right now in Virginia, Medicaid expansion and the state budget, Chafee encouraged McAuliffe to reach out to Republicans in state government to try and resolve differences.

The Virginia House and Senate have both passed competing budget documents, preventing lawmakers from entering negotiations. They won't return to Richmond until next week or the week after, and even then there are no guarantees compromise will be made.

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