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VIRGINIA SENATE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS

News Release
Sen. Thomas K. Norment, Jr.
Senate Majority Leader

Sen. Ryan T. McDougle


Contact: Jeff Ryer FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Republican Caucus Chairman Phone: 757.713.5333 30 May 2018
Sen. Mark D. Obenshain
Republican Caucus
Co-Chairman
STATEMENT OF SENATE MAJORITY LEADER NORMENT ON PASSAGE OF
Sen. William M. Stanley, Jr.
Senate Majority Whip
HOUSE BILLS 5001 AND 5002
Sen. Richard H. Black
Sen. C. W. “Bill” Carrico, Sr.
Sen. A. Benton Chafin, Jr. RICHMOND, VA, 30 MAY 2018: Senate Majority Leader Thomas K.
Sen. Amanda F. Chase
Sen. John A. Cosgrove
Sen. Bill R. DeSteph, Jr. Norment, Jr. (R-James City) today issued the following
Sen. Siobhan S. Dunnavant
Sen. Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. statement on the passage of House Bills 5001 and 5002:
Sen. Stephen D. Newman
Sen. Mark J. Peake
Sen. Bryce E. Reeves “Today, the General Assembly approved a budget that
Sen. Frank M. Ruff, Jr.
Sen. Richard H. Stuart
Sen. Glen H. Sturtevant, Jr. abandons Virginia’s long-standing reputation for fiscal
Sen. David R. Suetterlein
Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel responsibility. This budget marks a stark departure, both
Sen. Frank W. Wagner

from the conservative fiscal policies observed by the


Commonwealth for generations and in the manner in which it

was approved by the General Assembly.

“My frustration is exacerbated by the frustration that


will soon be experienced by every Virginian. Having been
told for years that Obamacare Medicaid expansion would
solve all our health care woes, those currently paying for
their own insurance will receive yet another sticker shock
this fall.

~ more ~

PO Box 1697 w Williamsburg VA 23187-1697 w 757.259.3863


PAID FOR BY THE VIRGINIA SENATE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS
STATEMENT OF SENATE MAJORITY LEADER NORMENT
ON PASSAGE OF HOUSE BILLS 5001 AND 5002
29 May 2018
Page 2

“Not one premium or deductible will be reduced by this budget.


The ever-rising cost of health care will not be reduced by a single

dime. Those who participate in open enrollment will learn the true
consequences of this short-sighted decision the hard way later this
year, when their rates and deductibles rise once again.

“The spending levels that have been set by this budget are

unsustainable. It contains $600 million in new taxes, called


provider fees. But, those revenues will not be sufficient to sustain
the spending levels to which the General Assembly committed Virginia
today. Sometime, likely sooner than later, the General Assembly will
have to make the hard choice of whether to further burden Virginians
with higher taxes or to sharply curtail spending on critical needs
like education, public safety, transportation, and, ironically, even
health care.

“Having served in the Senate of Virginia for more than a quarter


century, I am also disappointed by the degradation of the process and
the tactics employed by proponents of this budget. The deficiencies
of having a few legislators construct a multi-billion-dollar budget
were on clear display during today’s questioning and remarks on the
Senate floor.

“Many of the provisions that have been included in this budget


will not be fully understood or appreciated until months after it has
gone into effect. The normal vetting that is part of the budget
STATEMENT OF SENATE MAJORITY LEADER NORMENT
ON PASSAGE OF HOUSE BILLS 5001 AND 5002
29 May 2018
Page 3

process has been replaced by a closed-door negotiation between two


men and the Governor’s office.

“Reversing the consequences of today’s actions will not be easy.


As Senate Republicans learned earlier today, the assumptions
regarding federal assistance inherent in this budget may give way to
the reality of federal fiscal constraints much sooner than Obamacare

proponents think.

“Republican senators offered real solutions to Virginia’s health


care challenges. We passed a package of bills that would have
offered Virginians more affordable health care options. Governor
Northam vetoed those bills. We approved legislation that would have
begun the process of reforming COPN. The House defeated that bill.

“From our experience with these efforts this session, some who
do not share our views – while lamenting the cost of health care –
have little interest in approving innovative or proven solutions to
make coverage more affordable.

“I am proud of having consistently and diligently fought to


represent the position of the clear majority of our members by
opposing Obamacare expansion over the last six sessions. That our
position did not prevail today is disappointing, both to a majority
of our members and to me, personally. It will not, however,
discourage or deter us from continuing to fight for fiscally
responsible budgets based on sustainable levels of spending. We will
STATEMENT OF SENATE MAJORITY LEADER NORMENT
ON PASSAGE OF HOUSE BILLS 5001 AND 5002
29 May 2018
Page 4

be ready to resume that fight when we convene for the next regular
session in January 2019.”

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