General Assembly Fight Over Medicaid Expansion

John Reid
Friday, February 23rd

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Thanks very much candy appreciate that 705. Here on this Friday morning. It is the 23 day of February 2018. And I'm John reading your listening to Richmond's morning news. So here we are at the thank the end of February and time is running out at the Virginia General Assembly their session began high in the same week that we inaugurated our new governor. Ralf north some Democrats Democrats sweep in the executive. Branch and a lot of new Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly. RW RVA reporter Matt Dem line has been covering the general assembly for two decades joins us now. To talk about how old this is transpired so far at the State Capitol on what we can expect in the last 2 weeks good morning to you. I'm Matt how are. I under under very dot com great I'm glad you're right here to try to bring some clarity to what needs to transpire we had crossover week. And now both bodies are dealing with the house of delegates is dealing with senate bills in the senate is dealing with the bills they cleared the house of delegates. What's what's bubbling up is a point of contention are what looks like it's easy to sail through in the next couple weeks. Well we did sort of a slow period which is the traditional slow period in the assembly session if there is any because we we tend to move faster than most general goalies are around the country. Who who about what did occur which is that major major connect ID is that we started to have the first few votes on the budget. I'm and of course. You mentioned the fact he had the democratic castle in the executive and a lot of new Democrat coming in this special thousand delegates mrs. where we first saw. Them exert their influence because for the first time ever about the delegates approved in a budget may be an aunt and Medicaid expansion. And that has been very controversial and her many years and then we'd talk to the speaker of the house Kirk Cox at the beginning of the week. And he confirmed what he told us so maybe two weeks earlier that he worked out a deal. With the governor but at the same time we had a Republican senator on who was not on board with the speakers. Plan do you think that there's a split within the Republican Party that's going to be a laid bare in public in the next two weeks. I think they'll we've seen that in previous years what's different this time is that its staff house that they actually eaten. Out a little bit more moderate and the senate which is seen at least taking up more conservative position. In previous years for example I believe was 111 nearest and run together. I'm you have that you do racial where they send it. I'm Barbara Medicaid and of course and a democratic majority of the white. An outfit that we went almost till June before we had a budget decided in 2004 the issue wasn't Medicaid expansion. But it was taxes and the out of state data more conservative position. This senate which was why the Republican controlled by the time. Well lord deferred tax increase and yet another budget standoff. That that went there this time it dates to reverse you have ballots saying you know what you weeping Medicaid expansion. Can work and it's the senate taking out the more conservative. There etc. staying that the new speaker this is his first year as speaker Kirk Cox a very popular. Member from all I can tell with his Republican colleagues. But there's a lot on the line if he's gonna go out on this issue and it was surprising new media here that there was some discordant snow was being displayed in public. Well we'll keep in mind that that's the entire house of delegates was voted on last November whereas it none of this senators. Based electorate. In November so they did did he get the feedback about a thousand delegates clearly did Ambien you know. When the bigger tracks is the speaker but it only speaker by one vote and that could change under this special election anywhere you can be 5050 origin yet cute special election. They do want 49 the other way depending on how those operations to go so really is holed it very very tight. You know we're talking mad Dem line RW RVA capitol reporter here enrichment. And I know you were listening yesterday as we spent the hour with our governor north on and one of the things I talked to him about was up. What gun bills have moved through the general assembly and he was pretty blunt and said did. Before Florida. All of the gun bills that he was am advocating had already been disposed dolphin killed in the in the session and you've got to talk to the governor after he left our studio what what did he share read dear. Well you did say that there are some discussions as to whether or not defend now let the legislation which governor can do well late this session debt for the girl the lady consider probably also then there are no plans to do so at this point you got to take an executive actions but those are. Rather limited the you know he began just unilaterally change and change the law that they need to have a lot of and we can't really you know he unilaterally change slot. My guess you don't see any movement in the last 22 weeks of this session. Primarily because it's a new governor. You know you've had some compromise with the general assembly. I'm Medicaid expansion I'm on the right so you don't necessarily want to rock the boat on this issue. At this point. Now and then he made no doubt about it when I think what we come around in the next general assembly session once again you're gonna have gotten to be a major issue especially if that continues to be. A hot topic as it's been an especially normally you see these seats. Big time events sort of slowdown and after a week. That would seem to have back at the Mike in the continuing. Him anything surprise you about our conversation I and he was he was pretty animated yesterday and you know he's got a reputation for being kind of a mild mannered guy. So I was glad that he was. Willing to engage and everybody who called and during the program. He he he has shown over the last last month really towards the end of the campaign he does people bristle at the very end you know very dry wet. And has actually become very animated not on a number of issues that knowing EU member trade allowed the Virginia dollar maybe not afraid to get it get in there and I've been saying that. I'm Danny watt. Well you know whether people agree whether I had wondered how does to fight for them and that have been been a change from what we've seen early on during for example if time as lieutenant governor. Yeah real fast Matt's last thirty seconds or so is there anything else on your radar that we should keep an eye on as the general assembly. Starts to head into the last lap. Well it's interesting you know you mentioned the gun bills and they you know there will double or defeated for example the bombs stop banning if you are I think what's interesting is that you're probably actually going to see some of this on the federal level because the president is now proposing a bump stop spam and he's proposing more comprehensive background checks you saying that there were both you know roundly defeated here at this stage lovely may actually end up getting them at the federal. Really fascinating to see the inner play between those two mad deadline RW RV reporter who's been covering the capital for a long time we appreciate you joining us every Friday. Give us a recap of what has taken place thank you thank your.