It appears the Virginia General Assembly will not be completing their work by Saturday’s target adjournment day. The Budget Conference Committee made up of members of the House and Senate cannot come to an agreement on the state budget. The stopping point is the expansion of Medicaid.
When the House of Delegates adopted their version of the budget it included funding for Medicaid expansion. With Republicans holding a slim majority in the House, the Republican Caucus leadership secured enough votes to include Medicaid Expansion with caveats for improvements in the program. The Senate adopted their budget without the provision of Medicaid expansion within it.
If the Budget Conference is not able to complete their work and bring a budget to both houses by Saturday’s deadline the General Assembly may extend the current session or be called into a Special Session to adopt a budget later this Spring.
What does this mean for Stafford County? Within the County Administrator’s proposed budget he included contingency for FTE (Full-Time Equivalent) positions in the Social Services department, in case Medicaid is expanded in Virginia. Eighty-five percent of the costs of both of those positions would be covered by new federal money that would flow into the county as a part of Medicaid expansion. However, 15% of the cost is burden on the county. If the General Assembly does not adopt a budget with expanded Medicaid the county money allocated to those two positions would be re-allocated to other priorities.