Virginia lawmakers return to Richmond Thursday to pass state budget
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia legislators are returning to Richmond to do what they failed to do in March - pass a state budget.
The Senate and the House of Delegates convene Thursday evening to enact a two-year spending plan and end an impasse that had threatened to partially shut down state government. The current budget expires when the fiscal year ends June 30.
Lawmakers will have to slash spending and tap into the state's savings account to close a budget shortfall approaching $1.6 billion.
The budget stalemate was caused by a disagreement between Democrats, including Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who wanted to expand Medicaid and Republicans who refused. The logjam broke when Democratic Sen. Phil Puckett resigned, giving Republicans a one-seat advantage in the Senate.