RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The General Assembly has passed a state budget after adopting an amendment to ensure that Gov. Terry McAuliffe cannot expand Medicaid without legislative approval.
The Republican-backed amendment passed on a 20-19 party-line vote Thursday night after hours of internal GOP wrangling. The Senate then voted 21-18 to pass the budget. The House then passed the amended bill 69-31.
Medicaid expansion was the sticking point that prevented the General Assembly from passing a budget in the session that ended in March. McAuliffe and his fellow Democrats favor expansion, while most Republicans oppose it.
McAuliffe had not ruled out trying to expand the program by executive action.
----------------- Richmond, VA – ABC 13 is following the race to pass a budget in Richmond ahead of the June 30 deadline.
On Thursday, then Senate and the House have reconvened to try to pass the budget.
Thursday night, the two-year, $96 billion spending plan passed the senate 21 to 19.
Now it goes back to the house, where they reconvened around 11:30 p.m. Thursday night.
The only basic change is an amendment that the governor could not expand Medicaid without legislative approval.
ABC 13 checked in with Delegate Scott Garrett about the month-long stalemate.
"Hopefully we will get that bill passed to us back in the house and we can act on it very expeditiously and hopefully be able to enroll it and get it to the Governor here in short order," said Del. Garrett.
So far, the big sticking point has been Medicaid expansion. Democrats and the governor want to expand Medicaid while Republicans do not.