Despite already being one month into overtime, state lawmakers will wait until mid May to restart budget negotiations. Leaders in the Senate say they want updated data on tax collections before they dive back in.
That means local governments and school boards will have to wait at least a month still before they learn how much state money is headed their way in the next fiscal year.
In a statement, Speaker of the House Kirk Cox says he’s disappointed Senate leaders are taking their time.
That’s a sentiment echoed by Governor Ralph Northam. During an interview on WTOP’s Ask the Governor segment, Northam says stalling is a risk to the state’s credit score.
“I have encouraged these Senators and Delegates on both sides of the aisle that we cannot play with fire. We need to get this done,” Northam said. “And if we were to lose that Triple AAA bond rating that would be millions of dollars to the Commonwealth of Virginia. And there’s just no excuse in playing games.”
Lawmakers have until the end of June to pass a state budget, although they normally get it done in mid March. This year, a disagreement over Medicaid expansion has stalled the process.