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Schools, roads on deck for governor page 3
In his final legislative session, McDonnell advocates big changes in transportation and K-12 education

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Date published: 1/2/2013


McDonnell said he wants the school safety task force to work quickly, though, to give time for any needed changes or additional funding during the 45-day legislative session. He said that before the Connecticut shootings, he had put additional funding for some mental health needs into his budget. Through grants to localities, his proposals would add dollars for crisis services for adults and children, child psychiatry and in-home services, and expanding a discharge program to help those leaving state hospitals.

McDonnell faces criticism from Democrats for his decision not to have Virginia create a state-based health exchange under the federal health care law, and his reluctance to expand the Medicaid program. He said he doesn't trust the federal government's promise to cover most costs for the expansion for several years, nor does he support expanding a system that he thinks is inefficient at best.

"They've got to be willing to do a lot more with flexibility and waivers. I'd prefer they just block grant Medicaid [but] I see no receptivity to doing that," McDonnell said.

Chelyen Davis: 540/368-5028
Email: cdavis@freelancestar.com

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