Category:  Politics

Will Virginia Government Shutdown? McAuliffe Says No

Thousands of Virginia state workers, 107,000 to be exact, are terrified of losing their jobs, due to an unresolved budget battle.

If the General Assembly does not pass a state budget by July 1, government shutdown may be the consequence. What’s causing the disagreement? Medicaid.

Officials say the ongoing conflict between Democrats and Republics that is threating the Virginia shutdown is whether or not to expand Medicaid benefits for almost half a million Virginians.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) is optimistic about the outcome, and encourages Virginians not to worry about unemployment.

"No one's going to stay home," McAuliffe said. "I want everyone back to work. We have to do that for our vibrant economy."

Also feeling a sense of urgency is Del. S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk), who said "The consequences of failing to pass the budget by July 1 are simply too grave to delay any longer."

McAuliffe could issue an emergency declaration at the end of the fiscal year, according to Jim Roberts, legislative director for the Virginia Governmental Employees Association, but he is confident that won’t be necessary.

"I don't go into this thinking the worst case," McAuliffe said. "We have 30 days to get it done."

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