Gov. Northam Calls Special GA Session to Complete Work on State BudgetPosted: Updated:
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is calling state lawmakers back to work next month to pass a state budget.
Northam, a Democrat, announced Tuesday that he's calling a special session on April 11. The move comes after lawmakers adjourned the regular 2018 session last week without passing a state spending plan.
The GOP-led General Assembly is split on whether to expand Medicaid to about 300,000 low-income Virginians. The House supports expansion while the Senate does not.
The disagreement on Medicaid and a related hospital tax is blocking lawmakers from passing a state budget for the next two years.
It's unclear if there will be an agreement by April 11.
State government will shut down on July 1 if no budget is passed.
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Office of Governor Ralph Northam
RICHMOND – Governor Ralph Northam today signed a proclamation calling the members of the Virginia General Assembly into special session on April 11th to complete their work on the Commonwealth’s budget after they adjourned last week without passing a biennial spending plan for Virginia.
The Governor released the following statement on the forthcoming special session:
“After a legislative session that was marked by bipartisan progress on issues that matter to people’s lives, I remain disappointed that the General Assembly was unable to extend that spirit of cooperation to its work on the budget.
“Virginians sent us to Richmond to work together to make life better for every family, no matter who they are or where they live. We can live up to that responsibility by passing a budget that expands health care to hundreds of thousands of Virginians who need it. Expanding coverage will also generate savings that we can invest in education, workforce training, efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, and a healthy cash balance to prepare for fiscal downturns.
“Thanks to the political courage of many leaders in both parties and both chambers, we have made significant progress on this issue over the past several months. In the coming weeks, I intend to work with the General Assembly to ensure that we pass a budget that expands coverage as quickly as possible once this special session convenes. I have also directed Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne to work with the members and staff of the General Assembly money committees to ensure that work on the budget continues in the period between the regular session and the special session.
“It is my hope that people from across the Commonwealth will continue to speak to their legislators about the need to bring our tax dollars home to benefit our families, our economy, and our budget. We shouldn’t have to wait any longer for a budget that reflects the priorities of the Virginians who sent us here to serve.”
Below is the proclamation Governor Northam signed calling the General Assembly into special session on April 11:
In accordance with the provisions of Article IV, Section 6, and Article V, Section 5, of the Constitution of Virginia and the powers thereby vested in the Governor to call a Special Session of the General Assembly:
I, Ralph S. Northam, Governor of Virginia, do hereby summon the members of the Senate and the House of Delegates, constituting the General Assembly of Virginia, to meet in Special Session in their respective chambers in the Capitol at Richmond, commencing the eleventh day of April, two thousand eighteen, for the purpose of adopting budgets for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Given under my hand as Governor of Virginia, and under the Lesser Seal of the Commonwealth, at Richmond, this thirteenth day of March, two thousand and eighteen, and in the two hundred and forty-second year of the Commonwealth.
Ralph S. Northam
Governor of Virginia