$300 million budget gap possible for Va. budget

virginia-general-assembly-logoRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A possible $300 million gap is adding a new wrinkle to state budget impasse that threatens a possible state government shutdown.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe met with key lawmakers Monday at the Capitol to tell them about lower-than-expected tax revenues that could leave a $300 million budget hole for the current fiscal year.

McAuliffe said he told lawmakers that the budget gap shows the need for compromise on passing a state budget for the next two years.

Republican and Democrats haven’t been able to pass a roughly $96 billion biennial budget for several weeks because of disagreements over whether to expand Medicaid eligibility to as many as 400,000 low income residents.

Republicans said the new revenue numbers bolster their case for passing a budget without Medicaid expansion.

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Former Va. governor due in court for dismissal hearing

Former Virginia  Gov. Bob McDonnell

Former Virginia
Gov. Bob McDonnell

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife are due in federal court for a hearing on whether to dismiss most of the corruption charges filed against them.

Judge James R. Spencer will also hear arguments Monday on whether McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, should receive separate trials. Prosecutors oppose separating the cases.

The Republican former governor and his wife are charged in a 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 from Jonnie Williams, the former CEO of dietary supplements maker Star Scientific Inc., in exchange for helping promote his products. They have pleaded not guilty. A jury trial that is expected to last at least five weeks is scheduled to begin in late July.

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State Republicans say Democrats “reckless and irresponsible”

virginia-general-assembly-logoHouse of Delegates and Virginia Senate GOP leaders say Democrats are being “reckless and irresponsible” in the continuing budget impasse. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the latest:

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Virginia lawmakers sustain McAuliffe vetoes

virginia-general-assembly-logoRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Gov. Terry McAuliffe has successfully vetoed two religious expression bills and legislation that would have granted people who receive red-light tickets the right to contest citations in circuit court. The Virginia Senate voted Wednesday to uphold McAuliffe’s vetoes during a one-day legislative meeting commonly referred to as the “veto session.”

McAuliffe had vetoed a bill that would have codified a student’s right to pray at school. Another would have prohibited censorship of sermons given by chaplains of the Virginia National Guard. The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia praised the Senate’s votes, while the conservative Family Foundation condemned them.

The General Assembly did not take up the state’s proposed $96 billion two-year budget. Republicans and Democrats remain deadlocked on whether the budget should include expanding Medicaid eligibility.

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