'Chasm' Separates Virginia House and Senate Adopted Budgets - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

'Chasm' Separates Virginia House and Senate Adopted Budgets

Posted: Feb 23, 2018 7:50 AM Updated:

RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Almost half a billion dollars separates the Virginia House and Senate adopted budgets.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch quotes Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, as saying the $500,000 difference makes impending negotiations equal to "starting off with one person on Mercury and the other on Pluto." Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, R-James City, called the difference in the in budgets adopted Thursday a "chasm."

The House budget accepts more than $2.5 billion in federal funding for Medicaid expansion, allowing a redirection of at least $370 million in savings to education and mental health care, among other areas. It also offers several raises, including a 2 percent boost for public employees. The Senate budget, which also includes new spending for Virginia's mental health care system, offers a 2 percent raise for public employees if funds are available.

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