RICHMOND, VA, 18 FEBRUARY 2018: The Senate Committee on Finance today unveiled its version of Virginia’s 2018-2020 Biennial Budget (Senate Bill 30), as well as amendments to the current 2016-2018 Budget (Senate Bill 29).
The Senate increases funding over current spending levels, but does not include Obamacare’s optional Medicaid expansion plan. It also does not increase taxes or enact “provider assessments” on hospitals.
“The Senate Finance Committee has advanced a conservative budget plan that will ensure Virginia remains among America’s most fiscally responsible states,” noted Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City), Finance Committee Co-Chairman. “This may be the most conservative budget the Senate has produced in my tenure. It is, however, a sustainable plan, one that will serve Virginia well regardless of federal action.”
Placing a priority on mental healthcare, the Senate plan funds 825 Priority 1 Medicaid waivers for intellectually and developmentally disabled Virginians. It also allocates $15.6 million to expand same-day access to Community Service Boards.
The plan provides more money for Virginia’s public schools than the current budget and increases the Virginia Pre-School Initiative per pupil amount.
The Senate Plan also invests $8 million for broadband expansion and maintains funding of $24.5 million for GO Virginia, authorizing its board to reallocate grant funding to rural regions.
Senate Bills 29 and 30 were unanimously approved by the members of the Senate Finance Committee. Highlights of the Senate Budget proposal are attached.