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Gov. McAuliffe Weighs In on State Budget

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RICHMOND, Va. (WVIR) -

Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe is calling on Republican lawmakers to make changes to the state budget.

"I've been very happy with the budget. I want to thank the members of the General Assembly. We are very close on a lot of issues," said the governor.

“Things are moving forward very nicely and I think people are coming to agreement on many areas," said 25th District Delegate R. Steve Landes (R).

McAuliffe wants to see GOP-led General Assembly restore money for mental health care in jails, as well increase resources to investigate if something goes wrong at those facilities.

The governor says after unexplained deaths in jails, it's clear more dollars are needed for screening inmates for mental health issues when they enter the corrections system.

"Jamycheal Mitchell died, starved to death in our jail. I have asked for $200,000 of the budget so that we can investigate how this happened. I mean, are you kidding me?" McAuliffe said.

In response to the death, GOP leaders ousted the state's top watchdog agent, Inspector General June Jennings. Legislators said Jennings did an inadequate job investigating Mitchell's death.

State lawmakers now wait for McAuliffe to name a new inspector general since Jennings was not reappointed to the position.

"Hopefully it's not somebody within the Inspector General's Office. Maybe they would look outside, at least from my perspective, but there's criteria in the law setting up the inspector general. That position and that person has to meet certain criteria, so hopefully the governor's looking at that closely," Landes said.

The governor is also proposing the General Assembly increase funds for equipment for elections and raising compensation for teachers.

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