Senate Committee Puts off Budget Vote

May 15, 2018


Senate Majority Leader, Tommy Norment, talks with State Sen. Frank Wagner, one of a couple Republican senators who have signaled possible support for Medicaid expansion.
Credit Steve Helber / AP


Virginia’s slow moving budget process is only getting slower, as the Senate Finance Committee declined to vote on a budget proposal Tuesday.

As the June 30th deadline to pass a state budget approaches, Virginia’s Senate met for two days this week. They won’t resume work until next week.

The Senate Finance Committee met Tuesday morning and briefly considered a number of budget changes dealing with Medicaid. Republicans repeatedly referred to needing more oversight of the state run health insurance program if expansion were to occur.

“One of the initiatives that I’m hopeful we’re going to build into any potential Medicaid expansion, if we do that, will be an accountability system which monitors the screening process, the eligibility, in a very cost effective way,” said Republican Senator Emmett Hanger, chairman of the committee.

Unlike the House of Delegates --- which a month ago was content to pass the same budget it had during the regular session --- the Senate Finance committee is taking its time. Members are considering additional funding requests from some senators.

They didn’t come to any conclusions on Tuesday, and they won’t meet again until next Tuesday.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.