We still have no budget. Still fighting over whether to expand Medicaid or not. The Governor is shaking things up with the abortion issue. The General Assembly is going to get new offices. And finally spring has sprung!
The General Assembly went home in March, they have come back a couple times and here we are…nothing has happened. The House Republicans are as dug in as ever with regards to the budget and Medicaid Expansion. Senate Democrats and a handful of Senate Republicans are pushing a plan called MarketPlace Virginia. And then there is the Governor, who is stuck and trying to figure out what he can do to get someone to move. Putting Medicaid Expansion aside, if there is no budget by June 30th then the state of Virginia’s government will shut down. This has put extra pressure on the Governor to work with both chambers to find a budget deal.
Yesterday the Governor announced five new members of the Virginia Board of Health. This was a move to stack the board with pro-choice folks. Last year the board voted to adopt regulations that were much stricter than in the past. The Governor is
looking for ways to make these regulations not has strict. He is also looking to keep the clinics open while he works to have the new regulations reviewed, which could take as long as two years. Even with these appointments it does not give the Governor control of the board. Stay tuned, as the abortion issue is back!
The time has come for a new General Assembly Building. The current building is laden with asbestos,full of mold and leaks everywhere, not to mention the plumbing issues. The budget contains $300 million in revenue bonds to replace the current General Assembly Building, and historic Old City Hall, as well as construct a 500- space parking deck at 9th and Broad Streets. In 2016 the General Assembly will set up temporary offices in the Pocahontas Building. Old City Hall and the parking deck are slated to be finished by 2018, with the General Assembly Building ready for the 2020 Session.
Finally, Richmond has seen some warmer temperatures…after the many feet of snow the sun was welcome.