Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Budget Watch Post #1

Spent the morning talking with members of the Virginia Senate trying to figure out the path to a Senate budget. There was some thought that the Senate Finance Committee would meet this morning, but that didn't happen. We are now waiting for the Senate to convene. They have nothing on the calendar since the Committee didn't meet to take up the budget, so they may immediately recess once they gavel in, and either have the Finance Committee meet or maybe, go to the nuclear option. That option is a discharge of the Senate Finance Committee. It is a procedure very rarely used in the Commonwealth, but it would allow the budget to come to the floor without having to go through the Finance Committee.

General consensus is there are enough votes in the floor to pass the compromise budget that expands Medicaid and invests in Virginia. There aren't, currently, enough votes to get a budget out of the Finance Committee. We have been running vote numbers all day and without a massive play, the votes really aren't there. Each party caucused this afternoon and worked on their strategies. We will, hopefully, see what they have decided.

The House Appropriations Committee is preparing to take up the compromise budget tomorrow. They have already posted a presentation on the budget and all the details of all the amendments. Assuming the Senate does something today, they will be ready.

The compromise budget is good for K-12. You can see the details here.

I will post as the day goes on. Right now the Senate is almost 30 minutes past their announced convene time.