General Assembly overtime likely amid budget squabble

Posted at 10:53 PM, Mar 02, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-02 23:42:09-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Monday marks the beginning of the last scheduled week of the General Assembly, but it appears likely the session will go into overtime.

CBS 6 political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth said that Saturday departure is unlikely as Democrats and Republicans battle over the budget.

A few high-ranking members of the legislature told CBS 6 News political reporter Joe St. George that they would be shocked if there is an agreement before May 1.

That is because of a disagreement over whether or not to expand Medicaid. Democrats argue that the expansion is morally justified, while Republicans think it is too big of a financial risk.

However, legislative overtime does not come cheap. In 2011, it was estimated that everyday lawmakers stay in Richmond taxpayers shell out $20,000.

However, lawmakers have until July 1 to get a compromise done or the government shuts down.

Del. Israel O'Quinn said overtime bills would hopefully not be that high since every legislator would not necessarily need to be in Richmond every day.

“Even if it does go well into overtime, I don’t think we will have to be here all the way through i think we will be coming back and forth enough,” O'Quinn said.