Virginia state logoRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The General Assembly has passed a state budget after adopting an amendment to ensure that Gov. Terry McAuliffe cannot expand Medicaid without legislative approval. The Republican-backed amendment passed on a 20-19 party-line vote Thursday night after hours of internal GOP wrangling. The Senate then voted 21-18 to pass the budget. The House then passed the amended bill 69-31. Medicaid expansion was the sticking point that prevented the General Assembly from passing a budget in the session that ended in March. McAuliffe and his fellow Democrats favor expansion, while most Republicans oppose it. McAuliffe had not ruled out trying to expand the program by executive action. The budget now goes to the governor. He can sign it, amend it or veto it. McAuliffe says when the budget reaches his desk he will “take the actions that I deem necessary, but this fight is far from over.” The current budget expires in a little over two weeks on June 30.

The Associated Press and WLNI reporter Velvet Hall contributed to this report.