Statement of Speaker Kirk Cox on HJR 576 calling for a Special Session of the General Assembly

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2018

Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox issued the following statement Friday on HJR 576 applying to the Governor for a Special Session of the General Assembly to continue work on a two-year state budget.

“The House of Delegates will adjourn sine die as scheduled on Saturday, but without an agreement on a new two-year state budget. The House of Delegates passed a resolution Friday applying to Governor Ralph Northam to convene a Special Session of the General Assembly to continue work on the budget.

“We are all committed to completing work on a state budget long before July 1, but after a lengthy and tiring session the best step is for everyone to return home as we assess our next steps.

“The two budgets differ dramatically on healthcare. The House budget includes a plan to work with the Trump administration to guarantee conservative reforms as part of any plan to expand Medicaid to low-income Virginians with no cost to state taxpayers. The Senate budget includes a plan to expand the current Medicaid program at a cost of $440 million with no funding to pay for it.

“As I said three weeks ago, I remain concerned about the long-term fiscal implications of Medicaid expansion, but with a closely-divided House, Senator Hanger’s clear commitment to expanding Medicaid, and the Governor’s plan to send straightforward Medicaid expansion back to the legislature, I continue to believe our best option is to craft a plan that guarantees conservative reforms as part of any agreement on healthcare.

“I recognize some disagree with this approach. Taking a few weeks away from Richmond will give us the opportunity to begin a fresh discussion on the next steps.”