Ongoing Budget Talks in Richmond Draw Concern


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RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) -- With less than two months until a possible state government shutdown on July 1, there are still plenty of questions about the legal authority of imposing a shutdown.

Governor Terry McAuliffe has suggested he would be able to keep the government running after this date, even if a budget isn't passed. Others disagree, saying even he cannot stop an impending government shutdown.

Political analyst Dr. Bob Roberts, said he doesn't think this new shortfall will have a big impact on the budget talks going on in Richmond as both sides are pretty dug into their positions right now.

He thinks there are only two realistic options. One option, is that the governor signs a budget without Medicaid expansion, and then tries to spend money to increase Medicaid himself. The other option would be for the governor to try and keep the government open without a budget.

The key will be keeping both sides happy with something to claim as a victory.

"We have to find a solution where both sides save face; otherwise you won't compromise. The bonding agencies aren't scared because they haven't threatened us with anything, so they see it as political," said Roberts.

He also thinks the $300 million shortfall will be figured out. The bond rating agencies agree with this standpoint; however, the longer this goes on, the more it might to start to get their attention.


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