Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Budget Details Are Coming

The details of the proposed House and Senate budgets are just coming out today.  Budgets are filled with money and language. Sometimes the committees will add language and no money. Both are important. These details always come out after Budget Sunday. The budget amendments adopted by the committees are called "half sheets" as each budget item (money and/or language) is on a 1/2 sheet of paper. They just came out an noon today and we are analyzing all the details and will have a full report later today or tomorrow. For now we know the budgets are $650 million apart. That is enormous.

The two budgets will go to conference which is a committee made up members of both the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees. This conference is charged with developing a compromise budget. It has been a very long time since the budgets have been this far apart.

The VEA will be launching a campaign to encourage the conferees to expand Medicaid and to invest the state savings in public education. Be on the look out for a new cyber alert this week and push for phone calls next week. We are going to be strategic and targeted in our approach and will need your help. In the next couple of days there will be messages from VEA President, Jim Livingston, email alerts, and links in this blog. We need to spread the word and load up the email inboxes of our legislators on this issue.

Without expanding Medicaid there will be no choice but to maintain the drastic cuts included in the Senate budget. We cannot allow that to happen. So stay tuned... budget details and call to action are coming. Get ready!!