One of every 68 children in this country has now been diagnosed with some degree of autism – a disability that makes it difficult for them to communicate and learn. Virginia requires insurance companies to pay for an intensive treatment called Applied Behavior Analysis until the age of seven, but parents say care should be available for as long as a child needs it, and a bill making its way through the legislature could lift the age limit.
With a major snowstorm blowing across the Commonwealth, Governor Terry McAuliffe says the declaration allows the Virginia Department of Transportation to mobilize its 12,000 pieces of equipment, and 2,500 workers and contractors to respond.
The governor is also calling on Virginians to stay off the roads, if possible, in order to allow emergency vehicles passage and to cut down on the potential for accidents.
"Every part of the Commonwealth is going to be impacted by this storm," Gov. McAuliffe said. "Every single part of the Commonwealth."
Both the House of Delegates and Virginia Senate today overwhelmingly approved their respective versions of the state’s spending plan. Budget day at the Virginia State Capitol typically reveals how lawmakers really feel about the state of the Commonwealth and how dire things are.
A lot weighs heavily on the House budget, and Appropriations Chair Chris Jones insists that it has much of what Virginia needs-including pay raises for state employees, teachers, and state police, and no cuts to K-12 education.
There’s good news from the Governor and the heads of the General Assembly’s money committees. Despite dealing earlier with a significant revenue shortfall, the state is now seeing a $338-million revenue bump from withholding through corporate income tax and insurance premiums.
It amounts to $162 million more over the biennium after a $176 million deposit into the Rainy Day Fund. Governor McAuliffe says it provides a little extra money to spend as the budget is crafted.