Statement of Speaker Kirk Cox on HJR 576 calling for a Special Session of the General Assembly

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Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox issued the following statement Friday on HJR 576 applying to the Governor for a Special Session of the General Assembly to continue work on a two-year state budget.

“The House of Delegates will adjourn sine die as scheduled on Saturday, but without an agreement on a new two-year state budget. The House of Delegates passed a resolution Friday applying to Governor Ralph Northam to convene a Special Session of the General Assembly to continue work on the budget.

“We are all committed to completing work on a state budget long before July 1, but after a lengthy and tiring session the best step is for everyone to return home as we assess our next steps.

“The two budgets differ dramatically on healthcare. The House budget includes a plan to work with the Trump administration to guarantee conservative reforms as part of any plan to expand Medicaid to low-income Virginians with no cost to state taxpayers. The Senate budget includes a plan to expand the current Medicaid program at a cost of $440 million with no funding to pay for it.

“As I said three weeks ago, I remain concerned about the long-term fiscal implications of Medicaid expansion, but with a closely-divided House, Senator Hanger’s clear commitment to expanding Medicaid, and the Governor’s plan to send straightforward Medicaid expansion back to the legislature, I continue to believe our best option is to craft a plan that guarantees conservative reforms as part of any agreement on healthcare.

“I recognize some disagree with this approach. Taking a few weeks away from Richmond will give us the opportunity to begin a fresh discussion on the next steps.”

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