Kirk Cox: 90 days without a budget

kirk coxTerry McAuliffe and Senate Democrats have now held the budget hostage for some 90 days. Even after Secretary of Finance Ric Brown recently briefed the General Assembly Money Committees that state revenue shortfall could possibly exceed $1 billion over the next two years, there has been no urgency in the Senate to work towards a budget negotiation.

Led by our newly elected Governor, the first in fifty years to be elected with less than 50 percent of the vote, the Senate refuses to act on the budget passed by the House so that negotiations may begin. While the Governor has little working knowledge of the Virginia budget process and constitutional requirements for an on time balanced budget, senior Democrat Senator’s statements reflect a disregard for the negative impact of a late budget on our 8.1 million citizens.

Senator McEachin, the Democrat Caucus Chair, commented in April on the potential for a government shut down that “if that’s what it takes, so be it.”

Senator John Edwards, Senate Rules Chairman who has the authority to call the Senate back into session, says that there has been “no great outcry” to end the budget crisis.

Senator Dick Saslaw, Democat Leader, said to the House “”if they don’t like it, they can observe the mistletoe attached to my coattail,” after the House criticized the Senate for taking long vacations during this crucial time.

All of these comments from Senior Democrats in the Senate are indicative of the approach they and Governor McAuliffe are taking to the budget crisis.

Furthermore, Republican Governor Mike Pence of Indiana wrote Speaker Howell applauding the House for our efforts to resist Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in Virginia. I agree with Governor Pence when he says our stand will “protect Virginia taxpayers and healthcare consumers from the long-term pitfalls of expanding this deeply flawed entitlement program.” Earlier, Democrats had suggested Virginia should follow Pence lead on Medicaid expansion. As noted in the Pence letter, Indiana had worked on Medicaid fixes for 6 years and implemented many reforms before they put forth a detailed plan for increasing coverage.

The House of Delegates has offered a rational and reasonable path to ending this crisis – pass the budget now and come back for a Special Session on Medicaid expansion. We have listened to the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and over 100 other local governments, school boards, business groups, and elected officials who say lawmakers should set aside Medicaid expansion and pass a budget as quickly as possible.

As a member of the House Appropriations Committee (HAC), I will be at the HAC meeting this week to further discuss the impact of the revenue shortfall and strategies to close the budget gap.

Kirk Cox is a member of the Virginia House of Delegates.



augusta free press
augusta free press news

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

AFP Business

As professional consultants, Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including website design, SEO, TV/radio, video work, branding and logos, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation. Augusta Free Press LLC was founded in 2002.

Web Design

Augusta Free Press has designed more than 800 websites for clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design, content development and SEO. Short on staff? We’ll work with you to update your AFP-designed website in a timely manner or train your staff to make changes.

Marketing/Social Media Management

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Graphic Design

Augusta Free Press will help you take your vision to the next level. From branding and logos to print materials, our team will work with you to develop products to showcase your business. From brochures and rack cards to full-color magazines or print/digital ads, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planning/Fundraising

Augusta Free Press will help you plan the best event for your organization. From an open house or anniversary to a 5K or Pay Per View, we can handle it all. Looking for training for your sales staff? We can help energize your employees or board. Need ideas to raise more money? Let us help you plan a successful event. Want to hold a news conference or need help with a press release? We can do that too.

Click here for more.