Kirk Cox

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Republican lawmakers have a two-week deadline to declare whether they plan to comply with a court order to redraw the state's legislative map.

A federal court issued an order Wednesday giving House Republican members until Aug. 24 to say what their plans are.

The court has previously ordered lawmakers to come up with a new map by October after ruling that lawmakers illegally packed black voters into certain districts to make surrounding districts whiter and more Republican.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia House of Delegates plans to reconvene next week in hopes of being able to finalize a state budget.

But the debate among Republican lawmakers over the expansion of Medicaid could hold things up.

GOP lawmakers in both chambers are currently split on whether to include Medicaid expansion in the state budget. The disagreement has led to a lengthy stalemate on the spending plan.

GOP Speaker Kirk Cox announced Thursday that the House would gavel in on May 23.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's long-running debate over whether to expand Medicaid has new life after a Democratic wave in last year's election. Several successful candidates campaigned directly on the issue and advocates are hopeful that Virginia will join a majority of other states to pass expansion after years of opposition.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Republicans are softening their opposition to expanding the state's Medicaid program.

House Speaker Kirk Cox sent a letter to Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday saying his caucus is willing to begin a dialogue on healthcare.

But Cox says Republicans still oppose a "straightforward" expansion of the publicly funded healthcare program for the poor and disabled, and that any discussion must include work requirements and other reforms favored by the GOP.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Republican leaders in the Virginia House of Delegates are rebuffing a request from the governor to drop their legal defense of legislative districts Democrats say are unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

House Speaker William Howell, Majority Leader Kirk Cox and finance chairman Chris Jones told reporters Thursday they're confident in the 11 districts that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a day earlier must be re-examined.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia GOP House caucus has named its leadership team in an important election year.

The Republicans officially named House Majority Leader Kirk Cox as speaker designee, the de facto replacement for retiring Speaker William J. Howell. Cox would be named speaker in January if Republicans hold on to a majority.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - One of Virginia's most powerful politicians is stepping down.

Republican House Speaker William J. Howell said Monday he is retiring will not seek re-election when his term ends in January.

House Majority Leader Kirk Cox is expected to be Howell's successor, though other Republicans may try to challenge him.

Elected as speaker in 2003, Howell helped grow a near GOP supermajority in the House thanks in part to the favorable legislative boundaries drawn during the last redistricting.