The General Assembly endured another marathon session before it approved a new budget that does not expand Virginia’s Medicaid program. The State Senate okayed a new spending plan late Thursday night, and the House followed suit early Friday morning. Henrico Democratic Delegate Joe Morrissey wants Governor McAuliffe to veto the new budget. Rockbridge County Republican Ben Cline disagrees with Morrissey, and says most Virginians will like this plan. Cline says public employees, including teachers and police officers, are no longer being held hostage. Reston Democrat Janet Howell is among the State Senators who does not like the new budget. She’s upset that state employee pay raises are unlikely in the new budget cycle. While these debates were raging at the State Capitol, advocates of Medicaid expansion held rallies outside City Hall and in Staunton. Meanwhile, local Delegate David Toscano (pictured) is demanding an investigation into possible offers of employment to former State Senator Phil Puckett. Toscano will ask Virginia’s Inspector General to investigate the State Tobacco Commission and its relationship with the Russell County Democrat. Puckett declared Monday that a Washington Post story that suggested he would be hired to run that commission was wrong.
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