We've seen this movie before.
Virginia lawmakers returned to Richmond Monday morning with the hope that they had spend the last two weeks searching their souls with the goal of finding compromise.
But they returned to Capitol Square, perhaps even more dug into their partisan corners than they were before they left.
Governor Terry McAuliffe offered to expand Medicaid for only two years, just to see if it will work. Republicans called it a gimmick and and passed it by indefinitely in the House Appropriations Committee. Arguing among many things, that there is no going back once you start to offer a program to an additional 400 thousand Virginians.
This is all happening against the backdrop of a budget deadline that is slowly creeping forward. While July 1st is the drop dead date, many localities are starting to feel the impact of the delay as they start to craft their budgets.
We have all of it covered from a busy day at the Capitol.
First my report on Monday's offer from the Governor.
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Governor Terry McAuliffe made a new proposal today to try and convince house Republicans to agree to an expansion of the state's Medicaid program.
The GOP quickly turned him down.
On Monday, the governor proposed expanding Medicaid on a trial basis, for only two years, just to see if it would be manageable in Virginia.
Republicans already passed by McAuliffe's budget proposal indefinitely in the House Appropriations Committee and renewed their call to separate the budget from Medicaid and discuss expansion later.
McAuliffe and his allies pulled out all the stops Monday morning. Allies set up shop outside the historic St. Paul's Episcopal Church right near Capitol Square in an attempt to convince lawmakers that expanding Medicaid was the moral thing to do.
The governor was hoping his latest salvo - a proposal to expand Medicaid only on a trial basis for two years paid for completely by the Federal Government - leaves Virginia with nothing to lose and provides 400,000 needy citizens everything to gain.
"To sit with these citizens and look in their eye and have them tell you that they don't have healthcare and they don't know what their future is going to bring them," McAuliffe emotionally argued, "is a disservice to these folks."
But Republicans contend it is not that simple; trusting the federal government to do anything even for two years is risky and should not be tied to the overall budget process.
"They are willing to hold up an entire state budget, $97 billion, and we say it over and over and over again that is your school teachers, that is your public safety personnel," said House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights)
But McAuliffe is ready to take that gamble and he is willing to put his reputation on the line to prove it.
"If expansion doesn't help our people, then I and I alone will take the responsibility," McAuliffe said. "It is a risk I am willing to take for our families from one end of VA to the other."
The governor's reputation is one thing, but Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment (R) is worried that regardless of what you promise, if you expand a program like Medicaid for one day, you will probably be forced to expand it forever.
"The prospects of taking Virginians off of a plan after two years, to me, is a little disingenuous," Norment said.
Meanwhile.. Brent Solomon went in search of the impact on localities. He learned quite a bit. Here is his report.
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Virginia's budget battle has real-life consequences, with local lawmakers unable to put a hard figure on money for services that impact us all. Many cities and towns are in the process of finalizing budgets. Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones says the city, just like other localities, can't make decisions without knowing what the state will do.
When you need critical services like police protection, cities and counties make sure they're there.
"What the state provides to us is essential for doing the work that we need to do for our citizens," said City Council Chair Charles Samuels.
As of now, all local leaders are able to do is estimate. No state budget means no hard figures can be set in stone, placing even hospitals and schools in limbo.
Richmond is trying to appropriate it's anticipated $777 million budget for next year.
"It's just a matter of pinning down an exact number," Samuels said.
Henrico's Board of Supervisor's Chair Pat O'Bannon said she's worried about how the uncertainty will impact education. Teachers will sign contracts in May. O'Bannon says not having a state budget casts a gray area on how many Henrico will be able to hire. That leads to another aspect of the budget battle, teacher pay.
'I think it's the minimum that folks deserve," said Donald Wilms with the Chesterfield Education Association.
He's referring to Governor McAuliffe's announcement he would like to see teachers get a 2 % pay raise. Wilms questions whether that's enough.
"A 3.3 % raise would just be keeping folks up with inflation which doesn't even feel like a raise. A raise is when you feel like you actually have more spending money," he said.
The Governor's plan also calls on the same raise for state employees.
"Two percent at this time will help bridge the gap between the private sector and public employees," said Johnna Cossaboon with the Virginia Governmental Employees Association.
It's all under debate. The House, the Senate, and the Governor all have separate budget plans.
"I have complete faith that the General Assembly and the Governor will find a solution," Samuels said.
The clock is ticking. Henrico adopts its budget in April. Richmond plans to do so by the end of May, leaving little time for any further delays.