The following is a release from Speaker Howell's office:
Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Caucus Chairman Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax), Majority Whip Jackson H. Miller (R-Manassas) and House Appropriations Committee Chairman S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) issued the following statement Thursday on Governor Terry McAuliffe’s proposed budget amendments.
“We appreciate the Governor’s work in crafting his proposed biennial budget. This is the first step in the budget process, and we look forward to reviewing his proposal as we begin our work.
“It is now time for the House Appropriations Committee to begin work on the House budget. As always, we will craft a responsible budget that invests in the core functions of state government and carefully guards taxpayer resources. The General Assembly’s 2015 budget, which Governor McAuliffe signed without any vetoes or amendments, led to a single-year record revenue surplus. As the House develops its budget, we will once again take a conservative approach to revenue forecasting, spending and borrowing.
“The Governor has raised expectations and over promised. It is unfortunate to see Governor McAuliffe include Medicaid expansion in his budget again, which he knows the General Assembly does not support. Predicating economic development priorities and tax cuts on assumptions related to expansion is counterproductive and only makes it more difficult to produce a budget on time. Developing the budget is a collaborative process between the Governor and the General Assembly, and we are much more productive when we emphasize areas of common ground.
“We hope we can continue to build on the bipartisan spirit of cooperation that we enjoyed during the budget amendment process in 2015. Again, we thank the Governor for his proposed budget, and we look forward to working with him this coming General Assembly session.”