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Leesburg Town Council weighs in on state budget

The Leesburg Town Council has become the most recent local body to offer its opinion on the state budget issue, passing a resolution April 8 urging the expansion of Medicaid to help pass the budget.

The Town of Leesburg receives around 19 percent of its budget from the state budget.

State Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-33) kicked off the petitioners portion of the meeting, imploring Leesburg to take a stand in the debate.

“These are not people who are just waiting for the government to help them,” Wexton said. “These are working people, many of whom work multiple jobs just to put food on the table and to keep a roof over their heads. But at the end of the month, there’s nothing left over to pay a health insurance premium.”

The current proposal, Marketplace Virginia, would use federal funds to help Virginians receive private insurance. Virginia runs the risk of losing $5 million in Affordable Care Act funding if no plan is implemented.

“Like it or not, the Affordable Care Act is here to stay. There's nothing you in the Town Council can do about it, and there's nothing we in the General Assembly can do about it,” Wexton said. “What we do have control over is whether or not we send our tax dollars to Washington and receive nothing in return.”

Also present at the meeting was Del. David LaRock (R-33), who offered a different opinion, encouraging the Town Council to support a move to separate the Medicaid debate from the budget.

Other petitioners were also split on the issue.

Ultimately, the resolution passed 5-2, with Kevin Wright and Tom Dunn dissenting.

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