House GOP Leaders Propose Special Session

By: Brendan Ponton Email
By: Brendan Ponton Email

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Republican leaders in the House of Delegates are proposing a special session to debate whether or not to expand Medicaid.

The General Assembly session is scheduled to end Saturday, but if members don't pass a budget, they'd have to come back and work something out before July 1 or else the state government could shutdown.

Del. Steve Landes, a Republican from the valley, hopes Democrats get on board with the idea. "I would think that they would want to have an opportunity for the public to weigh in on the issue, separate from the budget, and allow all of us to have time to really vet and look at the proposals that they're bringing forward".

Other state agencies could be impacted the longer these talks continue, including school boards.

The Senate has offered another option, a private option to expand Medicaid, but House members voted that idea down.

As we head toward the possibility of no deal and a shutdown, Dr. Bob Roberts, a local political analyst who works at JMU, said things could get interesting.

"Pressure will escalate and escalate and escalate, but right now there doesn't seem to be any incentive for either party to bargain because they're trying to determine what is the popular opinion here," said Roberts.

House Democrats responded to the Republican proposal saying no is not the answer and accusing them of playing shutdown politics.

Roberts said we'll have to see if that pressure gets to some of the politicians on either side and they jump ship as time is ticking.


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