On July 1st the two year state budget comes to an abrupt end. Delegate Rob Bell says if that deadline comes and goes, there is no precedent for what happens next.
"We are in uncharted water. We have not yet in the history of the Commonwealth had a time we got past July one without having some kind of budget in place. And so no one knows exactly what will happen."
Miss that day, and there is no plan for how to pay state employees, bonds for public school buildings and universities or vendors that supply the government. And that's just the beginning.
The governor could have some power for emergency spending if that happens. “Emergency” could mean prison guards, state police, and that kind of thing.
But Bell says if he does there could be legal ramifications.
"The constitution says the governor cannot spend money absent to a law, the law being the budget law."
And while July 1st is the ultimate deadline, there are other agencies that are feeling the impact already.
"And so at this point the local governments would like to know what kind of money they are going to get so they can plan their budgets. Obviously you have school systems planning for summer school and for the fall."
So what's the hold up? The difference between the house and senate spending plans all boils down to Medicaid and whether or not to extend coverage.
"Aside from Medicaid there are very few differences between them. What you have is a broad agreement on all the issues in front of us the big exception is Medicaid. "
A University of Virginia spokesman says they have not received any directive from the governor to come up with a backup funding plan. But they say they are watching the situation in Richmond closely.
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