- Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 April 2014 00:33
- Published on Wednesday, 09 April 2014 00:33
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The Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors has unanimously passed a resolution urging Gov. Terry McAuliffe and state legislators “to reconcile their differences and pass a 2015-2016 budget.”
Republicans in the Virginia House and Democrats in the State Senate, along with McAuliffe, have been unable to agree on a budget because of their steadfast positions on whether to expand Medicaid in Virginia.
The Democrats and McAuliffe believe expansion of Medicaid coverage to the poor must be part of any spending plan. Republicans want the issue of Medicaid expansion separated from any State budget agreement.
The Board of Supervisors and other local officials around Virginia worry about the impact of a budget stalemate on local governments. Some are concerned that no budget by the start of the next fiscal year on July 1, could lead to a State government shutdown.
“Funds from the State received by Westmoreland County comprise a large portion of revenues necessary for Westmoreland County to deliver many of the public services’ mandates by the Commonwealth,” the resolution said.
“Failure to approve a budget in a timely manner would disrupt the ability of Virginia’s businesses and public agencies to operate effectively,” the resolution declared.
State Del. Margaret Ransone, a Republican who represents the 99th District, which includes Westmoreland and King George Counties, said she was “deeply disappointed the General Assembly has been unable to complete work on the State budget.”
“Passing the State budget is the General Assembly’s most important obligation. The budget directs funding for our schools, teachers, roads, law enforcement, colleges and universities, local governments and more,” Ransone said.
“Without a budget, it is difficult for local governments to set their spending plans for the upcoming year. Virginia’s AAA bond rating could be put in serious jeopardy,” Ransone warned.
“Unfortunately, this year, we were unable to reach an agreement on this critically important task due to one issue: Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare.”
Ransone said, “Republicans and Democrats disagree on Obamacare. That’s not likely to change. However, we agree on funding for our schools, teachers, roads, local governments and more. We cannot and should not let our disagreements stop us from moving forward in the areas where we agree.”
— Richard Leggitt