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Virginia lawmakers fail to set budget, 2018 session ends

RICHMOND, Va. – As the regular session adjourned, the Virginia General Assembly had not set a budget for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

A big issue in keeping the budget from being set was a disagreement between Republican and Democratic legislators on the issue of Medicaid expansion in the state.

“While this session has been marked by real progress on challenges that Virginians are facing, the fact remains that our most pressing business will remain unfinished until the General Assembly passes a budget that reflects the priorities of the people who sent us to Richmond,” said Governor Ralph Northam in a statement.

The Medicaid issue will have to be taken up in special session, according to the Capitol News Service.

“I am disappointed that the General Assembly, so far, has been unable to pass a budget that expands health coverage to Virginians who need it and makes essential investments in core priorities like education, workforce development, public safety, and revenue reserves. By including the expansion of health care in the budget, we have a tremendous opportunity to build a healthier workforce, create new jobs, and boost our state budget, added Northam.

Northam has been a supporter of expanding Medicaid coverage in the Commonwealth, and spoke about it extensively in both his inaugural address and his first address to the General Assembly, both earlier this year.