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COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

SENATE OF VIRGINIA

May 9, 2018

The Honorable M. Kirkland Cox Speaker of the House of Delegates PO Box 406 Richmond VA 23218-0406

The Honorable C. Todd Gilbert House Majority Leader PO Box 406 Richmond VA 23218-0406

The Honorable Timothy D. Hugo Chairman, House Republican Caucus PO Box 406 Richmond VA 23218-0406

The Honorable Nick Rush House Majority Whip PO Box 406 Richmond VA 23218-0406

VIA EMAIL

Dear Mr. Speaker and Delegates Gilbert, Hugo, and Rush:

Thank you for writing to express your concerns on the progress of the special session.

We fully appreciate your position preferring an expeditious result. As we indicated after budget negotiations ended during the regular session, the majority caucus of the Senate firmly believed a more complete picture of the Commonwealth’s revenue outlook was essential to producing a budget that would garner majority support in both chambers. Our view has not changed, and we are optimistic we will be receiving updated information from Secretary Layne on Monday.

We share your desire to complete a budget as expeditiously as possible. The budget approved by the Senate during the regular session relied on the state’s existing revenue stream, had the support of our entire leadership team, represented the priorities of the majority caucus, and secured a majority vote from our chamber. Regrettably, the budget produced by the House only satisfied one of those four criteria.

Not Printed at Taxpayer Expense

As you must be aware, we could have given certainty to local governments and all Virginians in March by passing a clean budget without Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and a new tax on hospitals. Were the House to send us a clean budget now, effectively removing the vast disparities in revenues and expenditures, the Senate would act on it immediately and a resolution could be achieved in a matter of days.

We have every confidence Virginia will be able to meet its obligation to produce a new budget prior to the expiration of its existing one. We can also assure you that we will give the House ample notice – as we did in this instance – regarding the Senate’s schedule during special session.

Respectfully yours,

As you must be aware, we could have given certainty to local governments and all Virginians

Thomas K. Norment, Jr. Senate Majority Leader

As you must be aware, we could have given certainty to local governments and all Virginians

Ryan T. McDougle Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules