Today is day 33 of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Obamacare budget impasse.
The budget gridlock caused by Governor McAuliffe is having a real impact on local governments and school boards, who are trying to make decisions for the upcoming fiscal year. Each day without a state budget creates unnecessary uncertainty for county boards and city councils trying to adopt local budgets, as well as local school divisions who are already busy planning for the next school year.
This week, the Roanoke City School Board was forced to adopt two calendars for the upcoming school year because the state budget is not yet complete.
The budget standoff in Richmond is hitting Roanoke schools where it hurts: the system’s calendar.
Parents are antsy to make plans for school holidays, and schools officials want to lock down a firm academic timeline.
But a provision securing the system’s pre-Labor Day start waiver is buried in the state’s budget, and so far lawmakers have not reached an agreement on a spending plan. No budget means no waiver.
So the Roanoke School Board took the unusual step Tuesday of approving two school calendars for the 2014-15 year. One has a start before Labor Day, the preference of division officials, and one after the summer holiday.
“This is a little problematic,” Superintendent Rita Bishop said. “I know there are a lot of questions about this.”
…“I’m hoping the budget bill, including the waiver, will pass. If it’s not passed, or for some reason that is vetoed or whatever, we need two calendars,” Bishop said. “It is very confusing and very difficult for our parents.”
The Governor’s decision to hold the budget hostage is not only wrong, it is also having a real-life impact on Virginians.
The decisions that Virginia’s local government and school leaders have to make on a day-to-day basis are hard enough without the additional complications caused by a budget impasse.
Republicans and Democrats disagree on Obamacare. We disagree on Medicaid expansion. But we should agree on passing a state budget that funds our schools, law enforcement officers and local governments.
Governor McAuliffe should stop holding the budget hostage, drop his demands for Obamacare and let the General Assembly pass a clean budget.