On Wednesday, a joint statement was released after Governor Ralph Northam introduced two budget bills ahead of the 2018 Special Session. Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah), Majority Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax), Majority Whip Nick Rush (R-Floyd), and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) opined on the introduction of House Bill 5001 and House Bill 5002 filed this week.

“The House of Delegates will convene at Noon on April 11th to organize with the Senate of Virginia as we start the special session and continue our work on a new two-year state budget. After a brief break, the General Assembly’s return to Richmond gives us a chance to begin a fresh discussion on the budget. The introduction of these bills, and the initial meeting on April 11th, are the start of a process that we are confident will lead to the adoption of a new budget long before July 1.

The budget introduced today does not rely on a revenue reforecast and commits a major share of surplus revenues to a reserve fund that is critical to protecting our Triple-A bond rating. The House always takes a conservative and responsible approach to estimating revenue, and we are committed to utilizing the current revenue forecast as we craft the budget. It would be unwise to conduct a revenue reforecast considering current economic uncertainty, recent changes in federal tax law, and the need to complete a budget as soon as possible.”

Governor Northam announced last week that he would call members of the General Assembly back to Richmond in April after a state spending plan was not passed before adjournment. The Republican-led General Assembly is currently split on the expansion of Medicaid in Virginia.

The House narrowly supports further expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) while the Senate is against the measure. The Special Session will convene on April 11th at noon.