The week before a Virginia governor presents a budget to the General Assembly money committees, it’s pretty typical that big guy hits the road to announce spending plans — especially popular ones.
And money committee members are usually pretty tight-lipped in response.
What’s an elected official to do, in an election year, when there’s a possibility that sitting on his or her hands could mean an additional $1.2 billion to spend?
Here’s a hint from Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr., R-James City County:
“I can tell you, for Senate and House Republicans, there’s going to be talk about tax relief.”
Senate Republican Majority Leader Tommy Norment will soon marry his girlfriend, who is a lobbyist for the city of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake Regional Medical Center and other clients.
Norment, of James City County, will not be the first lawmaker to marry a lobbyist when he weds Angie Bezik.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision to allow states to collect taxes on online sales could boost Virginia tax revenues by up to $300 million a year and help retailers with businesses in the state compete against “virtual” rivals for customers.
The 5-4 decision on Thursday overturns a 1992 ruling in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota that limited state tax authority to sales by businesses physically present in the state.
The majority opinion, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, called the previous ruling an “unsound and incorrect” interpretation of the Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution.
With a state budget approved and signed, the General Assembly needs only to elect several judges — including a new member of the State Corporation Commission — to complete a special session that began more than two months ago.
Instead, the legislature is likely to remain in session — but not convening to take up business — another two months, says House Speaker Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights.
The bipartisan vote to expand Medicaid in Virginia fell along party lines among Isle of Wight County’s five state legislators.
Del. Emily Brewer, 64th, Sen. John Cosgove, 14th and Sen. Tommy Norment, 3rd, all Republicans, voted against the expansion.
Sen. Louise Lucas, 18th, and Del. Roslyn Tyler, 75th, both Democrats, voted in favor of the bill.
Virginia’s vote to expand Medicaid last week was a striking turnaround for a Republican-controlled legislature that had fought expansion for four straight years.
Although November’s election added Democrats to the House of Delegates, that alone doesn’t explain the shift.
State lawmakers navigating a thorny dispute between prosecutors overwhelmed by the growing volume of police-worn body camera footage and localities reluctant to pay for more lawyers have pumped the brakes on prescribing a solution.
The Virginia legislature voted Wednesday to make government health insurance available to 400,000 low-income residents, overcoming five years of GOP resistance. The decision marks a leftward shift in the legislature and an enormous win for Gov. Ralph Northam (D), the pediatrician who ran on expanding access to health care.
Virginia will join 32 other states and the District in expanding Medicaid coverage. The measure is expected to take effect Jan. 1.
Six years after the U.S. Supreme Court left the decision to states on whether to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, Virginia is about to extend health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of Virginians without it.
Gov. Ralph Northam has left no doubt he will sign a pair of budget bills that will begin a two-phased process of receiving federal approval to expand Medicaid in Virginia on Jan. 1, relying on billions of dollars in long-available federal funds and a pair of taxes on hospital revenues to pay for it.