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Virginia senate leader: No shutdown over Medicaid

Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The top Republican in the Virginia Senate says a fight over Medicaid expansion won't lead to a state government shutdown.

Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment pledged at a committee hearing Monday that the state will pass a budget before the end of the fiscal year at the end of June. But he didn't say whether such a plan will include Medicaid expansion.

The GOP-led General Assembly is split on whether to include Medicaid expansion in the state budget. The impasse has stretched for several months.

Norment opposes expanding the publicly funded health care program to cover 400,000 low-income Virginians. But he promised a constructive debate in coming days as the Senate reconvenes to work on a state spending plan.

The state government will shut down July 1 without a budget.

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