State lawmakers adjourned late Saturday afternoon, but not before approving amendments to the state budget.
The final spending plan includes money to speed up the opening of a state prison in Grayson County that has been sitting empty. The prison is now scheduled to open in October 2013 instead of January 2014.
Lawmakers also approved a compromise that leaves the door open to an expansion of Medicaid in Virginia, if the federal government approves reforms the Governor and Virginia Republicans have demanded.
An opinion from Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli complicated progress toward a compromise on Medicaid expansion Saturday morning, as state lawmakers worked to wrap up the 2013 session of the General Assembly. The opinion also threatened to stall progress on transportation funding, one of the key remaining issues of the legislative session.
In the advisory opinion requested by Rockbridge County Delegate Ben Cline, Cuccinelli said the Virginia Constitution prohibits the General Assembly from delegating final authority on budget issues to a smaller group of members. Senate Democrats had proposed a committee evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans that would evaluate progress toward Medicaid reforms that Governor McDonnell has demanded.
State lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn Saturday, but they must still resolve key issues, including Medicaid expansion, transportation funding and amendments to the state budget.