Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam comments on McAuliffe budget

ralph northamLt. Gov. Ralph Northam applauds the release of Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s biennial budget this morning, which prioritizes education and workforce development. Several programs in the Governor’s budget follow recommendations from Lt. Gov. Northam’s work over the last two years.

“I am proud that the Governor presented a fiscally-responsible budget that prioritizes the issues most important to Virginians – education, jobs and the economy.

“As a member of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, I am glad the Governor’s budget includes $256 million for economic development, including incentivizing regional cooperation through the GO Virginia plan, strengthening the Port of Virginia and increasing export programs so that we can get Virginia’s products to countries around the globe.

“It is past time that we put partisan politics aside and expand Medicaid. As a practicing physician, I know creating access to affordable healthcare for 400,000 hardworking Virginians is good public policy.  And as a business owner, I cannot fathom giving $5 million, per day, to competing businesses. We need to get this done for the people of Virginia in order to continue moving our Commonwealth forward.

“A Healthy and Prosperous Virginia, where families thrive and businesses grow, starts with children who have access to a quality education and a healthy home environment. As Chair of the Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success, I know the Governor’s investment in evidence-based early childhood intervention programs will strengthen Virginia’s workforce over the long term. The additional funding will allow Virginia’s home visiting programs to ramp up and serve 2,000 more families in need.

“Governor McAuliffe and our administration understand the need to properly fund our sheriffs, police, and public safety officers and institutions. Mental health pilot programs funded in the biennial budget will give our local and regional correctional facilities the resources necessary to provide quality care and treatment for individuals with mental illnesses or substance abuse disorders. Properly caring for these individuals increases public safety and supports successful reentry to the community.

“I look forward to working with the Governor and General Assembly to ensure that these priorities, among others, are reflected in the final budget.”

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