Dear Prince William families, friends, and neighbors,
I drove into my Capitol office early this morning (Saturday) to type this to you on the last day of the 2014 General Assembly.
Today, March 8, is the last day of our two-month session, and we will adjourn and drive home to Prince William County with no state budget. We’ll return in several weeks to try again.
I’m disappointed because, as a new member of the budget-writing House Appropriations Committee, I’ve worked 18-hour days over the last two months to help craft the $95B two-year state budget. And we’re going home with no budget.
Why? This year, the Senate is demanding that we expand ObamaCare in Virginia before they will pass a budget. That would be fiscally wrong for a state that passes strong, stable budgets that have earned us one of the rare AAA bond ratings in the country…and national recognition as the best state in the country for business.
Last year, both houses and both parties shook hands on a good-faith bipartisan agreement to create the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission (MIRC) to fix fraud, waste, abuse, and inefficiencies in Medicaid. That way, expansion stays out of the budget process—so that the budget isn’t held hostage, or state government shut down. The MIRC’s work isn’t done yet, and we must let that happen.
Our budget isn’t a bargaining chip that holds hostage funding for schools, teachers, law enforcement, fire & rescue, transportation, veterans, and local governments. A government shutdown is not the Virginia way. It’s the Washington way.
It’s important that we tell the Senate and our governor how we feel. Please click here to ask Terry McAuliffe to abandon ObamaCare expansion and pass the budget now. We must (1) pass the budget, (2) permit the MIRC to fix Medicaid before we consider ObamaCare expansion, and (3) meet in a special legislative session later this year to work on Medicaid.
As always, thanks for permitting me to represent you and your family. Please email me at DelRAnderson@house.virginia.gov if I can help. My legislative aide, Ryan Galloway, is at RGalloway@house.virginia.gov. You can call our legislative office at 571-264-9983 or (if urgent) my home at 703-730-1380. Thanks and see you around Prince William!
RICHARD L. ANDERSON
Delegate, 51st House District
Virginia General Assembly