Will McAuliffe bypass General Assembly in budget battle?

Posted at 7:36 PM, May 04, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – As the months continue to tick by, Virginia still does not have a budget because Democrats and Republicans cannot come to an agreement over Medicaid.

The big question now is will Gov. Terry McAuliffe go it alone.

The Washington Post reports McAuliffe is considering bypassing the General Assembly and do something it's so far refused to do - expand health insurance for those too  poor for Obamacare.

Medicaid expansion has lawmakers divided because Republicans say it is simply too big of a financial risk.

On the other hand, Democrats argue the federal government is going to pay for it for three years so Virginia might as well get the money.

During a news conference last week, Attorney General Mark Herring increased speculation that the governor is considering going it alone by refusing to comment whether or not he thought the move would be legal.

“We're a long way off from various contingencies it be premature for me to comment beyond that,” Herring said.

Republicans in the General Assembly called the move illegal and said they do not believe McAuliffe has the authority to singlehandedly approve the budget.

If the state does not approve a budget by the end of June, state government could shut down.