Agreement on Caboose Budget
Thu March 20, 2014
State Budget Update
Agencies relying on state funding are hoping that when Virginia lawmakers reconvene next week for a Special Session, they'll be able to set aside their differences and pass a budget.
While Medicaid expansion is a huge sticking point, it's not the only issue where lawmakers have some philosophical differences.
Senate Finance Co-Chair Walter Stosch says the more optimistic news is their agreement on the caboose budget—the bill that adjusts current fiscal year spending.
But they still have to finalize a budget for fiscal years 20-15 and 16, and House Majority Leader Kirk Cox says that's where they'll need to compromise.
Cox says the House will propose taking no more than three days to get the budget back into conference, with negotiators starting in-depth talks the next day. Stosch likens the differences between the two sides—especially over education—as two groups with the same amount of money buying beans and bread, with one group preferring more beans.
On the Medicaid expansion issue, several localities have called on the Governor and lawmakers to separate it from the budget entirely.