On Tuesday afternoon, Speaker of the House of Delegates Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) released a statement relating to the delay of the State Senate on articulating a budget.

According to the office of the speaker, the statement reads:

“The House of Delegates passed a budget five weeks ago. Since then, the Senate Finance Committee had ample time to draft a budget and put it on the floor for debate and a vote. Instead, we’ve seen a series of disappointing delays that have pushed this process late in to May.

The time has come to finish the budget. Our teachers, local school boards, and local governments are waiting to craft their budgets and the national bond rating agencies are carefully monitoring Virginia’s AAA bond rating. This delay adds unnecessary uncertainty and is a disservice to the people of the Commonwealth.

The House of Delegates was prepared to convene Wednesday to finalize our work on the budget. However, the House will not waste taxpayer dollars to hold an unnecessary floor session. I am rescinding the call for the House to convene Wednesday and will instead issue a new call in the next few days. The House awaits the action of the Senate on the budget.”

On Tuesday, May 22, the State Senate returned to the General Assembly building on Bank Street in Richmond to finalize a biennial state budget it was willing to pass. The reconvene followed a a special session last Monday to consider the bills in the Finance Committee.

The two bills considered were one for the fiscal year that ends on June 30 and the other for the two-year budget that begins July 1.

In a report from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Senate Finance Co-Chairman Emmett Hanger (R-Augusta) and House Appropriations Chairman Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) hammered out a budget compromise recently that is set to expand the state’s Medicaid program and pay for the state’s share through a new tax on hospital revenues that also would boost Medicaid payments for inpatient provider care.

After nearly a week of discussions, the duo said that there is also an expected $500 million revenue windfall to boost Virginia’s reserve funds to almost $1 billion.