Public hearings set on McAuliffe’s Va. budget proposals

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe addresses a joint meeting of the House Appropriations committee and the Senate Finance committee at the General Assembly Building in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, to outline his proposed changes to the current two year budget. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bob Brown)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia lawmakers are seeking public comment on Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s proposed amendments to the state’s two-year budget.

Officials say the hearings of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance committees are set for Jan. 7 in Manassas, Abingdon, Williamsburg, Martinsville and Richmond.

McAuliffe proposed budget changes earlier this month, including increasing the money he can spend trying to lure companies to Virginia, easing school districts’ teacher retirement burdens, and giving raises to rookie deputy sheriffs. McAuliffe also wants to limit tax credits designed to bolster the coal industry and sell off $250 million worth of unclaimed property.

He’s also renewing his push to expand Medicaid, which has been blocked by Republican lawmakers who control the General Assembly.

Lawmakers will take up the proposals when the 2015 legislative session begins Jan. 14.

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