Budget spat in Virginia between governor and Republicans escalates

RICHMOND, Va. - (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is escalating a fight with Republican lawmakers over who has the final say in what's in the state budget.

The Democratic governor issued an executive order Friday directing his staff to abide by his version of the state budget, not the final one enrolled by the clerk of the state House.

GOP House Speaker William J. Howell previously ordered the House clerk to ignore vetoes McAuliffe tried to make to certain sections of the budget. That included a provision McAuliffe said "could preclude" unionized construction contractors from taking part in public-private transportation projects and another section aimed at prohibiting him from expanding Medicaid.

McAuliffe says the clerk doesn't have the authority to ignore his vetoes, while Howell called McAuliffe's executive orders "nonsensical."

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