Governor signs budget, including Medicaid expansion

Updated: Jun. 7, 2018 at 5:16 PM EDT
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It's a done deal.  Governor Ralph Northam signed the new state budget on the steps of the capitol today, which includes expanding Medicaid to cover 400,000 more low income people in Virginia.

That can mean a huge peace of mind for many people.  Now, for example, a family of three can now make up to $28,180 a year and still qualify for Medicaid.   Coverage begins January first.

Because expanding Medicaid means the state receives federal money through the Affordable Care Act,  there's more funding in the state budget for education, workforce training, and mental health services.

The budget also includes pay raises for teachers and state employees, including law enforcement.

Said Governor Northam, "It will make people's lives better by investing in the fundamentals of a healthy economy like education workforce development and public safety."

The budget also increases deposits into the state's Rainy Day Fund and  new Revenue Reserve Fund, bringing total deposits to nearly $1 billion over the next two years.

House Speaker Kirk Cox said in a statement that Moody's has already reaffirmed the state's AAA bond rating.