Quantcast

Virginia Elected Officials Discuss Failing to Pass Budget to Senior Citizens

Posted: Updated:
Creigh Deeds and David Toscano spoke to a group of seniors on May 9 Creigh Deeds and David Toscano spoke to a group of seniors on May 9
State Senator Creigh Deeds State Senator Creigh Deeds
House Minority Leader David Toscano House Minority Leader David Toscano
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Senior citizens living in Albemarle County and Charlottesville gathered on Wednesday, May 9, to learn from their lawmakers about legislation that was passed during this year's general assembly session.

But as it turned out, the meeting ended up examining what legislation did not pass rather than what did.

The overwhelming focus of the event on Wednesday, May 9, was the budget that the House of Delegates and state senate failed to pass. Now, if they don't finalize a state budget by July 1, they could face a government shutdown.

David Toscano, the House minority leader, and Creigh Deeds, a state senator, gave the crowd an update on where the budget currently stands. They say Medicaid expansion is to blame for the $600 million budget holdup between the House and Senate.

Deeds blames the Senate's Republican majority for not being able to pass a budget.

"In the past, we have more or less supported Medicaid expansion," says Deeds. "But the Republican majority has, you know, has been reluctant to go along recently."

Toscano says the House gaining 15 Democrats in the past election was key for adding Medicaid expansion to its budget.

"There are now 49 Democrats in the House, and I think part of the reason why Republican leadership in the House embraced Medicaid expansion is they felt that election and they realized that healthcare was the number one issue in that election," says Toscano. "As a result, we decided in the House to pass a budget that included Medicaid expansion."

Both agree Medicaid expansion can help the commonwealth save money if current programs for low-income individuals funded by the state become funded by federal money.

“We think there are more than 300,000 people who are eligible for it, and the reason it saves money on the budget is because there are already things we’re doing for some programs that will affect those low-income people,” says Deeds.

Senator Deeds says he expects to meet with his fellow state senators on Monday, May 14, to send a bill to the Senate Finance Committee. He believes the Senate could pass a budget next week.

After that, both the House and Senate will come together to hammer out a final budget, which he expects to take another 2-3 weeks.

  • Virginia Elected Officials Discuss Failing to Pass Budget to Senior CitizensMore>>