"I am deeply disappointed by this news and the uncertainty it creates at a time when 400,000 Virginians are waiting for access to quality health care, especially in Southwest Virginia," said McAulliffe.  "This situation is unacceptable, but the bipartisan majority in the Senate and I will continue to work hard to put Virginians first and find compromise on a budget that closes the coverage gap."

Puckett's resignation would give Republicans a 20-19 majority in the Virginia Senate at a time when McAuliffe is trying to expand Medicaid through the state budget.  Virginia lawmakers have been unable to reach an agreement on a new spending plan for 2014-15, largely due to a partisan disagreement over Medicaid.