The “Medicaid for Transportation” deal that was brokered between the House of Delegates and the State Senate to ensure Gov. Bob McDonnell’s $6 billion tax increase could be foisted on Virginia taxpayers is, in a word, unconstitutional. At least according to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
The Office of the Attorney General has provided their official legal opinion and has stated that…
1) Regional taxation is a non-starter and
2) A subcommittee to determine Medicaid expansion is an abdication of the General Assembly’s responsibilities.
Since it’s baseball season, I guess we’re getting “Two for the price of one.”
To be specific…
HB 2313’s imposition of taxes in the specific localities constitutes a local law related to taxation prohibited by Article IV, § 14(5) of the Virginia Constitution. Further, because the taxes were imposed directly by the General Assembly, the taxes cannot be saved by the provisions of Article VII, § 2, even if they had obtained the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house.
and, with respect to Medicaid…
[T]he General Assembly may not delegate final legislative authority regarding budgetary or other matters to a committee composed of a subset of the members of the General Assembly.
Now, this is just the AG’s opinion. But that’s awfully good standing if you want to bring a lawsuit. And, considering Governor McDonnell’s record on transportation constitutionality, probably not somewhere he wants to go.