This year, the Virginia General Assembly session was full of twists and turns! I wanted to update you on the latest news after the reconvened session on April 3. Below are some important highlights and our next steps.
· MEDICAID EXPANSION has a clear path for implementation in Virginia! This was a hard-fought battle, but after the General Assembly approved the amendments Governor Bob McDonnell made to create a path to expansion, we are confident this is coming. Now, after meeting the conditions spelled out in the budget language, the new Medicaid Reform and Innovation Commission (MIRC) will vote that those conditions are met and expansion will begin. MIRC will begin meeting after the Senate members are selected. This could be a long process and our fight to expand Medicaid is not over. We still have a lot of work ahead! We will keep you updated on the next steps and will need your help talking to the MIRC legislators throughout the year!
· VOTING RIGHTS took a blow this year after Governor McDonnell signed both voter ID bills into law. The Justice Department will review Virginia’s proposed laws and must approve them before they can be implemented. The most important thing for you to know now (and to share with all your friends and family members) is that neither law will take effect until 2014. Last year’s voter ID laws remain intact for the upcoming election. We will alert you as new information on this becomes available and if action is needed.