Traci offered the following statement to the press in light of the General Assembly special session,
"The General Assembly is once again bringing to the forefront the disappointing fact that the biennial Virginia budget for 2014-2016 was passed without addressing closing the healthcare gap by expanding Medicaid. This oversight denies 400,000 eligible Virginians under the Affordable Cara Act health care coverage, including more than 15,000 returning veterans.
This week, when the General Assembly addresses its two year, $822 million shortfall, the answer lies with closing the healthcare gap. Implementing Market Place Virginia is estimated to return $692 million over that same period. Healthcare coverage to prisoners alone will save $306 million from the General Revenue Funds. Virginia is losing $5 million each day by refusing our own money.
In addition to cost savings for the commonwealth, closing the gap will cover the needs of the working poor, create more that 30,000 quality jobs in the healthcare industry and broaden the tax base.
Make no mistake, as Virginia moves forward on this issue, we must focus on saving lives with healthcare and balancing the budget.”
"Because the balance of power in the Virginia State Senate rested on the outcome of (the special election), Republicans now control the majority and have the ability to block any legislative efforts by Gov. Terry McAuliffe. "The next opportunity for Democrats to regain control of the state senate will not occur until next November when every senator is up for re-election."
"While I am disappointed in the loss of Sen. Puckett's seat in the 38th district, it only strengthens my resolve to bring balance back to Richmond by taking back Senate District 17," ---Traci Dippert