(Reuters) - Virginia's Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, and the state's Republican-dominated House of Delegates on Monday failed to reach an agreement over Medicaid expansion during the first day of a special session called in hopes of reaching a budget deal.
The impasse over Medicaid, the federal health care program for the poor, is holding up passage of a two-year, $96 billion budget. If the two sides fail to reach a deal by July 1, the state government could grind to a halt. Legislators deadlocked over the budget during a 60-day regular session that ended March 8.
McAuliffe, a former Democratic Party fundraiser, proposed on Monday a two-year pilot expansion of Medicaid, which could be terminated if it is unsuccessful, but the proposal was rejected by the House Appropriations Committee.