Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Caucus Chairman Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax), Majority Whip Jackson H. Miller (R-Manassas) and House Appropriations Committee Chairman S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) issued the following statement Wednesday on Governor Terry McAuliffe’s proposed budget amendments.
“We appreciate the Governor’s work in crafting his proposed amendments and look forward to continuing to work with him wherever possible. There are areas where we agree and obviously areas where we disagree with his proposed amendments. The Governor’s proposal is the first step in this process.
“The House Appropriations Committee will now begin working to craft its proposed amendments. The goal of the House is, as always, to put together a conservative, responsible proposal that structurally balances the budget, protects the core functions of government and makes targeted investments when appropriate.
“We are disheartened by the Governor’s decision to include Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in the budget. It is counterproductive for him to return to the same strategy that nearly resulted in a state government shutdown last year. The House of Delegates has overwhelmingly rejected Medicaid expansion three times and it would be irresponsible to try and again use the budget as leverage on this issue. We hope this is not the Governor’s intent.
“We are committed to protecting the Commonwealth’s status as one of the nation’s best managed states. The House of Delegates has consistently taken a conservative and prudent approach to the state’s balance sheet. This year will be no different. Again, we thank the Governor for his proposed amendments and look forward to working with him.”