Budget battle shaping up in Virginia General Assembly

Budget battle shaping up in Virginia General Assembly

The House and Senate in Virginia, which works on a two-year budget, passed separate budgets recently that arent apt to be reconciled before the scheduled March 8 adjournment of the General Assembly this week. The most likely outcome, then, is adjourning without a budget.

Negotiations can continue this spring, but if theres no budget by July 1, government operations could shut down. Sound familiar?

The biggest point of contention has been Medicaid expansion. Under the Affordable Care Act, Virginia can expand Medicaid to 400,000 individuals with the federal government reimbursing 100% of the costs through January 1, 2017. After this date, the federal reimbursement gradually reduces over several years until it reaches 90% and stays there. The Senate has proposed creation of an insurance marketplace funded by federal dollars. The House leadership does not want to take federal money for Medicaid expansion because they do not believe that the federal government with the current deficit situation will be able to fulfill their funding commitment. In line with the democrat controlled Senate, the new governor, Terry McAuliffe, supports Medicaid expansion.

A couple of bills of interest to dealers are these:

Both the House and Senate passed by wide margins a bill to repeal the $64 annual registration fee on hybrid vehicles included in last years transportation bill. The repeal awaits the governors signature.

Both Houses have passed a bill with changes proposed by the staff of the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board. Among the proposed changes included in this legislation are: raising the fees for the Transaction Recovery Fund for dealers and creating another consumer seat on the MVDB in place of the seat previously filled by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services or his representative.

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