Day 48 of Gov. McAuliffe’s Obamacare budget impasse

HouseGOP2014 General Assembly Session, Health Care, Issues

Today is day 48 of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Obamacare budget impasse.

Earlier this week, a Board of Visitors member at a state university told The Washington Post that Governor McAuliffe’s decision to hold the state budget hostage over Obamacare was “wrecking havoc on the universities” trying to set tuition for the fall.

That fact became clearer yesterday, when the Old Dominion University Board of Visitors decided to delay a final decision on tuition rates until the state budget is passed.

From The Virginian-Pilot:

Virginia’s state budget stalemate has prompted Old Dominion University to delay a decision on next year’s tuition rates.

If it had followed the normal schedule, ODU’s governing Board of Visitors would have adopted a budget and set tuition rates for the 2014-15 academic year at its meeting Thursday.

But the board decided to wait, hoping to get more clarity on the level of state funding the university will receive.

That’s unclear now because the General Assembly, deadlocked over whether to expand Medicaid, has been unable to agree on a state budget.

If lawmakers don’t resolve the impasse by the start of the fiscal year July 1, the state faces a government shutdown.

It would be “almost inappropriate” to set tuition rates before ODU’s budget allocation is known, Rector Fred Whyte told the board.

Board members are sensitive to the uncertainty the delay will cause for students and their parents, but it’s prudent to wait, Whyte said.

“Uncertainty is always unsettling,” he said. “People are trying to make decisions.”

Governor McAuliffe’s budget impasse is reverberating well outside the state capitol now. School boards are making contingency plans, local governments are basically guessing on state budget figures and Virginia parents and students will have to “wait and see” how much they’ll pay for tuition in the fall.

Perhaps that’s why 71 percent of Virginians want a compromise that avoids a government shutdown. The clear compromise is to pass a two-year budget that keeps state government open and debate Medicaid expansion later.