Today, Governor McDonnell unveiled his proposed amendments to the biennial budget. He proposed diverting state funds from schools to pay for his transportation plan. In total the Governor proposes to take nearly $50 million a year away from schools, first responders and aid to our most vulnerable citizens. He also said he will let Virginia fall under a federal exchange health care exchange and not expand Medicaid.
Senator Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax), Democratic Leader of the Senate, said of diverting sales tax revenue from the General Fund to transportation, “We need a comprehensive statewide plan to solve transportation. We cannot build and pave roads by taking money out of our classrooms. It’s time we got real.”
Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico), Democratic Caucus Chair, said, “The state’s budget should be a moral document that reflects the values and priorities of Virginians. I find unconscionable the Governor’s decision not to include any funding for the expansion of Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of Virginia’s working poor. Expanding Medicaid will provide essential health care to hard-working Virginians who are struggling to support families as well as create jobs. In the coming General Assembly Session, I hope to work with my colleagues in the legislature and the Governor to grow jobs and increase health care for Virginians by expanding Medicaid.”