Look for the budget to dominate the debate for the duration of the session. In December, Governor McAuliffe presented his biennial budget of $106 billion over two fiscal years to the General Assembly. The legislature has now submitted budget amendments exceeding $2.3 billion related to the general fund. The heavy work is in front of us as we reconcile priorities. Both the House of Delegates and the Senate must ultimately vote on a two year spending plan. According to Virginia’s Constitution, the biennial budget must balance.
But Senator Dick Saslaw points out that the governor was just enforcing a law that enjoyed bi-partisan support when the legislature approved it.
“I got news for you. Y’all voted for that law," he told colleagues on the Senate floor. "Well not you all," he added, " but the people who were here before you. They voted for it. They had to have the same requirements we had.”
And Saslaw notes some states that enjoyed reciprocity have done a poor job of screening those who got concealed carry permits.
“Apparently Florida, as of 2006, had already handed out 1,400 concealed weapon permits to citizens who had criminal records – 218 outstanding warrants including 14 wanted for murder.”
Saslaw spoke to the terrible irony of opposition to the extension of the Affordable Care Act to Medicaid in Virginia, something the Republicans in rural parts of the state, in particular, have been responsible for. In the poorest parts of the state, where these Republicans hold sway, the life expectancy is 65 compared to 81 in Northern Virginia, Saslaw said, adding that 20 percent of babies in the rural areas are born with opiate addictions, a third of the population smokes in Grundy and Buchanan counties and 40 to 50 percent of adults are “morbidly obese.”
Senator Saslaw Speaks on Ultrasound Bill
Sen. Saslaw Fights Repeal of "One Gun A Month Law"
Senator Saslaw Speaks on Voter ID Bill
Senator Saslaw Argues for Project Labor Agreements
Fighting for A Woman's Right to Choose
2012 Legislative Wrap-up
VCTA Cable Reports
ERA is Long Overdue
Springfield Civic Association
Skyline Square Candidates Forum
Falls Church City Democrats Labor Day Ice Cream Social