SENATE DEMOCRATS MARK PASSAGE OF SENATE BUDGET
Bipartisan compromise marred by failure to close health insurance coverage gap
RICHMOND — This afternoon, the Virginia Senate approved its budget bills — SB 29 and SB 30 — on near-unanimous votes. Senate Democrats made the following statements.
Said Democratic Leader Sen. Dick Saslaw (D - Fairfax), “This budget makes responsible, farsighted, and needed investments in economic development and critical infrastructure. It will grow our economy, strengthen our workforce, and better ensure that every child has access to a great education. I am pleased that it has passed with broad bipartisan support.”
Said Caucus Chair Sen. Donald McEachin (D - Henrico), “This bill is a compromise, and I support many of its provisions — for instance, a significant increase in K-12 funding. That said, this budget fails to close the coverage gap. Another year of delay will mean billions of dollars wasted and hundreds of lives needlessly lost. I am deeply disappointed that my Republican colleagues still refuse to act.”
Said Sen. Janet Howell (D - Fairfax), “This budget makes important investments in K-12 education, and I am particularly pleased with our investments in permanent supportive housing and family violence prevention. I am disappointed, however, that we have once again failed to help up to 400,000 uninsured Virginians in the health care coverage gap.”
Said Sen. Barbara Favola (D - Arlington), “I am pleased to support new investments that strengthen public schools and improvements in mental health services for children. I am delighted that we’re working to create new, well-paying jobs. But I am dismayed that Republicans have again rejected Medicaid expansion. We have a chance to save millions of dollars and hundreds of lives per year. This budget is marred by its failure to close the coverage gap.”
A detailed side-by-side comparison of the House and Senate budgets with the governor’s introduced budget is available here.
A thorough summary of the Senate budget will be available here.