Virginia Special Session Budget Update

On Friday and as reported by Kemper Consulting, Governor Terry McAuliffe indicated that he would sign H.B. 5002, the new biennial budget for fiscal years 2014 – 2016.  However, the Governor included eight line item vetoes.

This evening the Virginia General Assembly reconvened to consider his vetoes.  Delegate William J. Howell, the House of Delegates’ Speaker, ruled that two of the Governor’s vetoes were improperly before the House (i.e. were out of order) including the so-called (Senator) Stanley amendment prohibiting Medicaid expansion to proceed without the General Assembly’s approval.  The second veto addressed the filling of judgeship vacancies. These items apparently will remain in the newly enacted budget.

Five of his vetoes were sustained by the House of Delegates including a Medicaid provision – defunding the legislature’s Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission (MIRC).  The remaining four touched on a variety of issues.  Specifically, the vetoes: eliminated a school partnership funding agreement between the City of Petersburg and the County of Chesterfield; reversed an appropriation from the Federal Action Contingency Trust (FACT) – state funding intended to respond to economic impacts resulting from decreased federal funding; at the request of the Attorney General, overturned asset forfeiture procedural language; and eliminated new budget submission requirements required of the Governor’s Department of Planning and Budget (DPB).

McAuliffe’s final veto, funding for the newly established Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council, was overridden by the House on a vote of 70-27.  However, the vote to override the veto did not receive the required two-thirds vote in the Senate, hence that funding has been eliminated.

The new budget year begins on July 1.

In addition, this evening the Senate Republicans used their new majority to reorganize the chamber’s committees.  The committee changes generally reflect the membership as it stood when the Republicans held the majority prior to the 2014 session in January.  As a reminder, and as reported by Kemper Consulting, the recent and unexpected retirement of a Democratic Senator paved the way for the new Republican majority as well as a budget agreement.

Commerce and Labor: Watkins (Chair), Colgan, Saslaw, Norment, Stosch, Edwards, Wagner, Newman, Martin, Obenshain, Stuart, McWaters, Stanley, Alexander, Vacancy, Vacancy

Courts of Justice: Norment (Chair), Obenshain, Saslaw, Marsh, Howell, Lucas, Edwards, Puller, McDougle, McEachin, Stuart, Vogel, Stanley, Reeves, Garrett

Education and Health: Martin (Chair), Saslaw, Lucas, Howell, Newman, Locke, Barker, Miller, Smith, McWaters, Black, Carrico, Garrett, Vacancy, Vacancy

Finance: Stosch (Co-Chair), Colgan (Co-Chair), Howell, Saslaw, Norment, Hanger, Watkins, Marsh, Lucas, Newman, Ruff, Wagner, McDougle, Vogel, Carrico, Vacant, Vacant

General Laws and Technology: Ruff (Chair), Colgan, Stosch, Martin, Locke, Petersen, Barker, Vogel, Stuart, Black, Reeves, Garrett, Deeds, Ebbin, Wexton

Local Government: Smith (Chair), Marsh, Lucas, Martin, Hanger, Puller, Ruff, Locke, Marsden, Stanley, Miller, Ebbin, Favola, Cosgrove, Lewis

Privileges and Elections: Obenshain (Chair), Howell, Martin, Deeds, Edwards, McEachin, Petersen, Smith, Vogel, McWaters, Carrico, Reeves, Garrett, Alexander, Wexton

Rehabilitation and Social Services: Wagner (Chair), Puller, Hanger, Locke, McDougle, Barker, Black, Reeves, Favola, Norment, Stosch, Miller, Alexander, Wexton, Lewis

Rules: McDougle (Chair), Stosch, Norment, Martin, Hanger, Newman, Watkins, Ruff, Wagner, Obenshain, Smith, Colgan, Saslaw, Howell, Lucas, Vogel

Transportation: Newman (Chair), Marsh, Watkins, Wagner, Deeds, McDougle, Smith, Marsden, McWaters, Colgan, Carrico, Favola, Alexander, Cosgrove, Vacancy

Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources: Hanger (Chair),  Watkins, Ruff, Obenshain, McEachin, Petersen, Stuart, Marsden, Stanley, Black, Miller, Ebbin, Cosgrove, Lewis, Vacancy