In the past several days, we in the House of Delegates have considered numerous bills from the Senate.
Importantly, last week also marked the passing of the proposed budget by the House of Delegates.
Of course, this session of the General Assembly is the “long session” during which state legislators must pass a biennial budget.
As a freshman delegate, it was my privilege to vote for a balanced budget proposal that is structurally sound and provides for the core functions of state government, including public safety and education. It also addresses state needs in mental health services, hospitals and health care.
Significantly, the budget presented by the House of Delegates meets our duty under the Virginia Constitution to provide for high quality public education by including nearly $531 million in new funding.
In combination with other reforms offered by House Republicans, this investment demonstrates our commitment to the success of students and teachers throughout the commonwealth.
In particular, the proposal that passed includes investments for initiatives in math and reading, teacher bonuses, and the successful “Teach for America” program.
Our budget proposal also includes significant funding to the commonwealth’s health care safety net and seeks to help offset the negative effects of Obamacare on our health care centers.
This includes over $118 million in inflation adjustments for hospitals and $111 million for nursing homes. Health care providers in Southside Virginia, including Lifepoint and Centra Health, benefit directly from funding increases in the House’s budget proposal.
With regard to the proposed Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, I was pleased to vote with the overwhelming majority of my colleagues to reject an amendment to expand this government entitlement as part of the budget process.
Regrettably, the Senate, in their proposal, has injected politics into the budget negotiations by including it in their proposal.
As most Americans realize, Obamacare is tragic federal policy. It has increased premium costs, limited health care choices and caused higher unemployment.
As I have repeatedly stated, I will not be part of expanding Medicaid under Obamacare in Virginia.
Del. Les Adams of Chatham represents the 16th District, which includes most of Pittsylvania County as well as Martinsville and part of Henry County.