Gov. Terry McAuliffe rolled out his budget amendments this afternoon, and the big ticket item is a request that the General Assembly cede him some power to expand Medicaid, which Shad Plank is totally sure it will.
That is sarcasm. House Majority Leader Kirk Cox indicated about a half hour later that the General Assembly totally would not do that.
Look for a full story later (update: here you go), but Cox, R-Colonial Heights, said he expects McAuliffe to make a number of proposals like this over the next couple of months to keep his Medicaid talking points front-and-center.
He also called the governor's proposal "way premature."
A few other interesting things from McAuliffe's press conference:
- The governor said he'll sign the end-the-hybrid-tax bill that has been moving quickly through the two chambers.
- If the General Assembly won't confirm controversial ABC appointment Boyd Marcus, would McAuliffe find another spot for him in his administration? "Oh, I don't know about that," McAuliffe responded. "I hope he will get through."
- As part of his budget adjustments, McAuliffe wants to cash in on about $25 million in stocks - shares and dividends - that have built up in the unclaimed property accounts the state maintains. The state auctions off unclaimed property with some regularity - "We've had suits of armor before," Secretary of Finance Ric Brown said - but has only sold stocks in bulk once before in recent history, Brown said. These are stocks that typcially fell to the state because people don't have wills, or they're parts of trusts for whom owners can't be located. You can run your information through the state's unclaimed property database here, by the way.
- You may have seen stories about top state officials putting a good word in with the feds for former Gov. Bob McDonnell. McAuliffe hasn't done so and doesn't plan to, he said. It's not like it would be unprecedented for him, though ...
- McAuliffe said he met this morning about budget amendments with Del. Chris Jones and state Sen. Walter Stosch, the heads of the their chambers' budget committees. "I am encouraged by how receptive both gentlemen were," he said. Which is a little odd, given this ... which Cox re-iterated this afternoon after batting down the governor's Medicaid proposal.