Message release from Virginia Senate Republican Caucus on March 9, 2018
Senate Democrats Join Senate Republicans to Approve Call to Special Session
House Follows Suit in Issuing Resolution of its Own
RICHMOND, VA, 9 MARCH 2018: Senate Democrats today voted to support Senate Joint Resolution 248, formally requesting Governor Northam call a Special Session of the General Assembly to approve a budget agreement.
Yesterday, Senate Democrats rejected two resolutions that would have extended the session for 30 and 3 days, respectively.
Today, Senate Democrats joined Senate Republicans and approved Senate Joint Resolution 248 by a 40 to 0 vote.
Subsequently, the House of Delegates introduced and passed its own resolution calling for a special session. House Joint Resolution 576 was approved after Senate Joint Resolution 248 was communicated to the House.
Both the Senate and House resolutions call on Governor Northam to convene a Special Session. They would also allow the General Assembly to elect judges during the Special Session.
I am grateful to Senate Democrats for joining us in approving this resolution for a Special Session (said Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City)). I was also glad to see the House follow our lead in issuing a resolution of their own.
This budget impasse may prove as difficult to resolve as those that occurred in 2006 and 2014. With more than $3.3 billion separating the two budget proposals on revenues and over $840 million in differences on spending, I cannot envision how this situation could be resolved quickly.
I agree with Speaker Cox that the ‘two budgets differ dramatically on healthcare.’ There, however, is where our agreement ends.
The House’s plan, which they assert was crafted to avoid straight Obamacare Medicaid expansion, is barely distinguishable from straight Obamacare Medicaid expansion. As demonstrated by the Senate Education and Health Committee, their ‘work requirement’ is little more than a ‘work suggestion.’ The ‘taxpayer safety switch’ they tout is actually featured in all the Medicaid expansion plans promoted by former Governor McAuliffe, including this year’s introduced budget.