Va. speaker opposes Medicaid expansion, Deeds returns to Senate - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Va. speaker opposes Medicaid expansion, Deeds returns to Senate

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Creigh Deeds Creigh Deeds

In his opening remarks to the Virginia House of Delegates, Speaker William J. Howell [R] expressed firm opposition to accepting the federal offer to pay for an expansion of Medicaid in the Commonwealth.

Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe [D], who will assume office on Saturday, strongly favors the federal deal, saying it would extend medical care to 400,000 Virginians.  Speaker Howell, whose party holds a commanding majority in the House, said the federal offer for a subsidy would be “contrary to our conservative approach” [to governing in Virginia].

Howell, however, endorsed strengthening ethics rules in the state, and spoke approvingly of changing some laws relating to mental health in the Commonwealth.

State Senator Creigh Deeds, in November, was stabbed in the face and torso by his adult son.  Family members had sought a commitment for the son a day before the attack, but were told no nearby psychiatric beds were available.  The son, Gus Deeds, committed suicide shortly after the attack.

Deeds’ proposed legislation would lengthen temporary commitment periods and establish a real-time state registry of psychiatric beds.

Creigh Deeds, who was the Democratic nominee for governor four years ago, has generally avoided interviews since the tragedy.  He took his seat with other members of the Senate as the chamber was graveled into session.  Deeds did not speak.  Lengthy scars on his forehead and cheek were visible to observers.

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