Northam urges lawmakers to expand Medicaid for their benefit

Northam told reporters that he had informed key lawmakers they would have much more say in how to spend about $350 million if they agreed to include Medicaid expansion in their budget proposals.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is telling lawmakers they would be "much better" off passing their version of state budget rather than leaving it for him to do.

Northam told reporters Friday that he had informed key lawmakers they would have much more say in how to spend about $350 million if they agreed to include Medicaid expansion in their budget proposals.

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The GOP-controlled General Assembly is split on Medicaid expansion. The House's proposed budget includes it while the Senate's does not.

If lawmakers pass a budget before adjourning next week that doesn't include Medicaid expansion, Northam said he has enough votes in both chambers to amend the budget to put it in along with new funding for on his top priorities.