VIRGINIA Today the state senate will come together to enact a two-year state budget. This happening after months of debate about whether or not to expand medicaid.
The state is also now facing a potential 1.6 billion dollar budget shortfall. This is all happening after a political shift in the Virginia Senate after the resignation of Democrat Senator Phillip Puckett.
Today, State Senators need to find a way to make up for this projected shortfall.
Already, we know 700 million dollars came from the Rainy Day Fund. Today, they'll decide where to cut another 700 million dollars from the proposed budget.
There is no medicaid expansion included in this budget and so far, it is unclear where the cuts will be made.
Virginia Senator Emmett Hanger said, health and human resources will have to decrease some of the initiatives originally put into the proposed budget. For example, with crisis centers. Also, higher education is another area which may be seeing some cuts.
"We don't like doing it, in a better economy we wouldn't do it, but right now at least, our state colleges and universities have the ability to make up the difference through fees," said Hanger.
In a statement earlier this week, Governor Terry McAuliffe said he is disappointed about the news of Senator Phillip Puckett's resignation and he would work to find compromise on a budget which closes the health care coverage gap.
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