Almost two weeks have passed since the General Assembly adjourned without passing a new state budget, but as lawmakers prepare to return to Richmond very little has changed.
"It looks like it's going to continue to be a stalemate at this point," Delegate Sam Rasoul (D) Roanoke told WDBJ7 Thursday morning. "Both sides unfortunately seem to be pretty dug in. I hope we can find a solution pretty quick."
"I think we're going to go there and look at each other and say is anything changed?," said Senator Ralph Smith (R) Roanoke County, "and apparently the answer is going to be no. We'll go home and think about it some more.
Seven lawmakers sat down with the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce Thursday morning.
Republicans want the issue of Medicaid expansion separated from the budget,
"If Terry McAuliffe wants to shut down Virginia's government under Obamacare that will be his legacy," said Delegate Greg Habeeb - (R) Salem.
And both parties continue to spar over the wisdom of using federal Medicaid funds to extend health insurance benefits to up to 400-thousand Virginians.
"We need to get it right," said Delegate Charles Poindexter (R) Franklin County. "That's what it's all about. Take our time. Be measured. Do it the Virginia way."
Senator John Edwards (D) Roanoke noted the state is passing up billions in federal aid. "We should have done it last year," Edwards said. "Every day we wait we're losing five million dollars of monies we could be receiving to Virginia. That makes no sense in the world."
How did business leaders respond?
Tori Williams is the Vice President of Public Policy for the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce. He described the meeting as "a robust discussion," but said he didn't hear much in terms of a solution. That, Williams said, is "what the business community is looking for."