Local governments are hard at work on their budgets, and they're wondering when the state will do the same.
Roanoke City Council will vote on a new spending plan next week, but local budget planners are playing a guessing game as they wait for lawmakers to come to terms on the state budget.
"We're the land of statesmen," Mayor David Bowers said Monday afternoon. "We're a great patriotic state. Statesmen founded Virginia. Where are they now?"
A Democrat, Bowers favors Medicaid expansion. House Republicans say they won't vote for a budget that includes it. And right now, it appears the two sides aren't talking in Richmond.
As the standoff continues, the city's budget planners are doing their best with the information they have.
Amelia Merchant is the Director of Roanoke's Department of Management and Budget. "It absolutely makes it more difficult to make assumptions about what's going to happen in Richmond and how it's going to impact programs and services," Merchant told WDBJ7, "but we do look at trend information and we look at all of the updates that are coming from Richmond and we make the best assumptions that we can based on that information. It certainly makes it more challenging to do that."
Local leaders don't have the luxury of waiting for the state to act, and so they are moving forward with their budgets. They believe the assumptions they are making are sound, but say they will also be prepared to adjust to whatever decisions are made in Richmond.