Progress Virginia, the commonwealth’s leading voice for progressive values, today applauded Governor Northam‘s proposed budget for the General Assembly to consider in a special session on April 11th. The legislature adjourned its regular session Sine Die after House and Senate Republicans were unable to reach an agreement on the state budget. Items of contention include not only expanding healthcare coverage to up to 400,000 Virginians but also state investments in higher education and K-12 schools, pay raises for teachers and state employees, and a proposed deposit in the revenue reserve.
“Today, Governor Northam put forward a balanced and progressive budget proposal that utilizes the significant savings from a clean Medicaid expansion to invest in priorities for Virginia families: affordable higher education, quality local schools, safe communities, and pay raises to recruit and retain talented teachers and public employees,” said Progress Virginia executive director Anna Scholl. “There is no more important issue facing our elected officials right now than solving the impasse over healthcare for Virginia families. Republicans in the state Senate have remained completely unserious on this issue, refusing to engage in true compromise while throwing out ludicrous proposals they simply have no way to pay for.
“Governor Northam and Republicans in the House of Delegates have both come to the table with proposals to ensure no family has to choose between health care or bankruptcy. Governor Northam‘s plan for a clean expansion is the quickest path to affordable health care for Virginia families without punitive barriers or gimmicks and we applaud him for continuing to advocate for working families.”