Virginia Democratic Senator Resigns, Shifting Balance In Medicaid Negotiations | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Virginia Democratic Senator Resigns, Shifting Balance In Medicaid Negotiations

Play associated audio
The political balance in Richmond has shifted at a critical moment for Virginia's budget negotiations.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thruhike98/2047207259/
The political balance in Richmond has shifted at a critical moment for Virginia's budget negotiations.

Control of the Virginia state Senate hangs in the balance now that a Democratic state senator is announcing his resignation. Republicans are poised to take control of the chamber as the deadline approaches for passing a budget.

What will happen to 400,000 uninsured Virginians? That's the question now at the center of a fierce debate in Richmond, where Republicans and Democrats are deadlocked over the budget. Whether or not it should include expanding Medicaid coverage for those who live in poverty and with disabilities.

That's why the resignation of state Senator Phil Puckett of Russell County has the potential to reshuffle the deck on the budget debate and Medicaid expansion.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy says Sen. Phil Puckett notified the governor's office Saturday that he's stepping down.

Republican Delegate Terry Kilgore says the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization's executive committee is considering giving Puckett a staff job. Kilgore is the chairman of the commission. The resignation also opens the door for the confirmation of Puckett's daughter as a judge.

Senate Democratic Leader Richard Saslaw says Puckett's resignation will be effective Monday.

The resignation opens the door to Republicans assuming control of the evenly divided Senate, where the Democrats had one vote majority. Now Republicans are poised to take control of the Senate just as the final negations of the budget — and Medicaid expansion — reach an endgame.

Late Sunday evening, McAuliffe said he's "deeply disappointed" by the news of the resignation, adding that Democrats will continue to fight for a compromise that expands health insurance for those who currently have no coverage.

NPR

For The Midterm Elections, A Book On 'What It Takes' To Win

The midterm elections are less than two weeks away. Writer Michael Schaub recommends a book that explores what it's like to run for office and live through all the dramatic ups and downs.
NPR

A Wisecracking Biochemist Shares Her Kitchen ABCs

Shirley Corriher, author of Cookwise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking, has tips on taking the bitter bite out of coffee, and holding onto cabbage's red hue while it's in the pan.
NPR

For The Midterm Elections, A Book On 'What It Takes' To Win

The midterm elections are less than two weeks away. Writer Michael Schaub recommends a book that explores what it's like to run for office and live through all the dramatic ups and downs.
NPR

New Facebook App A Throwback To Old Chatrooms

Facebook's new app, Rooms, harkens back to the days of 1990s anonymous chat rooms. New York Times tech reporter, Mike Isaac, talks about why having secret identities online is a good thing.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.