Today is day 13 of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s budget impasse.
While the Governor has been busy campaigning for Obamacare and setting up his new fundraising arm, local governments and local leaders from across the Commonwealth are struggling with the uncertainty caused by the Governor and his allies in the Senate.
Without a state budget, it is difficult for local governments to plan for the upcoming fiscal year. Approximately 48% of the state’s general fund spending passes through to localities in some form or another.
To date, 36 school boards, city councils, boards of supervisors and local elected leaders representing over 3.3 million Virginians have passed resolutions or sent letters urging the Governor and the Senate to separate the issue of Medicaid expansion from the budget.
Virginia Beach Sheriff and former State Senator Ken Stolle wrote to Governor McAuliffe yesterday, urging him to “put Virginia first and pass a budget” while leaving Medicaid expansion to be debated at another time.
“I feel that it is important to recognize that as important as the Medicaid expansion issue is, the primary responsibility of the legislature and the Governor’s office is to do the business that is constitutionally required of them to ensure that Virginia Government and the local government continue to run for the benefit of all Virginians. In other words, I think it is imperative that you pass a budget addressing Virginia’s issues and then come back at a later time to address the Medicaid expansion issues.
“I think history shows that locking up the budget and holding up the business of Virginia for some leverage or advantage in a federal debate has never been good for Virginia and has typically never resulted in an agreeable solution to whatever the problem was.”