After 11:00 PM this evening (June 12), the Virginia Senate passed an amended SB 5003, its version of a 2015-16 budget, on a vote of 21-18. The bill excludes Marketplace VA, a so-called commercial insurance program that would have been the vehicle for expanding Medicaid. In effect, the ”clean budget” bill decouples Medicaid expansion from the budget, breaking the impasse on the prolonged budget negotiations that have threatened to shut down the State Government on July 1.
The Senate immediately sent the bill to the House for its consideration and approval.
The Senate passage of the bill followed a lengthy debate of an amendment proposed by Senator Richard Black (R, 13) that sought to eliminate the following language contained in the House bill that served as the basis of SB5003. That language says:
There is hereby appropriated sums sufficient non-general funds for such cost as may be incurred to implement coverage for newly eligible individuals pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1396 d (y)(1)