Virginia's 2018 General Assembly Concludes, Lawmakers Discuss What to Focus on Next

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State lawmakers from Central Virginia returned from Richmond after Saturday's conclusion of the 2018 General Assembly session.

Tonight, they're reflecting on their successes as well as discussing future plans for the assembly.

Two months of bill debate have passed and its likely that another two months of compromising on a state budget lurk in the near-term. But, Delegate David Toscano (D-57.) and Republican Delegate Rob Bell (R-58.) are determined to reach a compromise.

"A lot of the people in the General Assembly don't totally understand what chaotic things happened in Charlottesville on August 12th… and until they do, I think they are pretty reluctant to change the law," Toscano said.

Republican Delegate Rob Bell says he was still able to work with democrats to pass a bill that ensures crime victims receive restitution for medical bills and other losses.

"We took a whole year and studied how many times crime victims are not getting money for medical bills and things like that from the defendant and to our surprise it was 230 million dollars [cut away] that passed,” said Bell.

Meanwhile, Toscano is celebrating the House's proposed budget. 

"A major accomplishment was to get a house budget that had Medicaid expansion in it and really robust funding for k-12 education and higher education," Toscano said.

But the battle with the Senate over Medicaid is what has kept the state from passing its budget on time. According to Toscano, the real challenge is balancing the budget. 

Bell also said that until Medicaid is settled, money allotments will be difficult to estimate. 

Both delegates say that they currently have little fear of a government shutdown, but they do expect to be called back to Richmond sometime in the next few weeks to continue working toward a compromise budget. 

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