On April 3, I will be hosting my first of three Post-Session Legislative Wrap Ups. Please join me to discuss what happened this past session as well as to discuss the ongoing budget battle and Medicaid expansion. Come ask questions about legislation or issues important to you. I will be having wrap ups in Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax. The first wrap up is:
- Thursday, April 3 at 7:30-9 p.m.
Fairlington Community Center
3308 S. Stafford St.
Arlington, VA 22206
- Thursday, April 10, 6:30-8 p.m.
Huntington Community Center
5751 Liberty Drive
Alexandria, VA 22303
- Monday, April 21, 7:30-9 p.m.
St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub
2300 Mt Vernon Ave
Alexandria, VA 22301
This past week the General Assembly began a Special Session to pass a budget. The big roadblock, of course, is whether we take our taxpayer dollars back from the Federal Government so that all Virginian’s can have access to healthcare. House Republicans refuse to consider any budget that returns taxpayer money to Virginia. By taking back our Federal tax dollars, we can also add about $200 million to the state budget, which, in addition to providing working Virginians with healthcare, allows us to expand funding for schools, economic development, and more.
Last Monday, the Governor introduced a budget that brings our tax dollars home, expands Medicaid and makes critical investments in education and public safety. My Republican colleagues in the House dismissed the budget outright and refused to give it a careful review. The Senate is planning a public hearing on the Governor’s proposed budget in early April and intends to take more time reviewing the Governor’s proposal.
On Wednesday, the House passed a budget that does not provide for Medicaid expansion and as a result short changes our schools, denies our teachers a 2 percent raise at a time when our average teacher salary has fallen to 37th in the country, and more. Now the Senate and the House, along with the Governor, have to reconcile their conflicting views about the state budget. It is going to be an intense process as we fight to expand healthcare and also to invest in our schools and teachers
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to sign the petition to close the coverage gap at www.CoverAllVA.com. Please share it with your friends and family to send a strong message that Virginians want affordable healthcare.
I hope to see you soon at one of my three post-session legislative wrap ups.