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Afternoon Read: Virginia Lawmakers Try to Resolve Budget Stalemate Today

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PM Read: Va. Tries to Resolve Budget Stalemate

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Bob McDonnell

Virginia state lawmakers were in session Tuesday trying to vote and pass the state’s overdue, two-year $85 billion spending plan.

Watch a live video stream of the session here….

Anita Kumar of the Washington Post has a running live blog of the session. As of 2 p.m. many senators were still threatening to vote against the spending plan and Gov. Bob McDonnell sent a letter to Senate Democrats urging them to pass the budget, reminding them of the ramifications of a failed budget.

“Unfortunately, there has recently been discussion by several in the Senate again on not approving a budget without additional funding for two very specific transportation projects in the commonwealth, namely the Dulles Rail extension and the Midtown/Downtown Tunnel improvements,’’ McDonnell said. “This cannot happen and will have disastrous effects on Virginia.”

Read Kumar’s blog here.

At about 4:20 p.m. Virginia Democratic Del. Mark Keam tweeted this:

"Gov. Bob McDonnell refused to support more funds for Dulles Road; House Republicans agree. Senate Democrats united in seeking $300 million."

Look's like the parties are still at a budget stalemate. With 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans in the Senate, Republicans need just one Democrat to vote in favor of the budget in order for it pass.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial board wrote that lawmakers have a duty to pass this budget:

"Democrats, particularly in Northern Virginia, are upset that Gov. Bob McDonnell and Republicans — with the help of 85-year-old Democratic state Sen. Charles Colgan — have stripped $300 million for an extension of Metrorail to Dulles Airport. They're baffled by the administration's reluctance to fund the project, don't accept the administration's stated explanations (poor project management and a reluctance to borrow) and have floated various theories to explain it.

The Democrats might be right on the merits of the issue, but that's tangential to today's question: Is making a point about Dulles rail worth monkey-wrenching the entire state? The clear answer is: no. The same goes for concern by Democrats in Tidewater about tolls funding projects across the Elizabeth River." 

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Republican U.S. Senate candidate George Allen seemed to quietly endorse Mitt Romney Monday night at a Virginia Young Republican meeting in Arlington.

“I hope to be in the U.S. Senate and I hope Mitt Romney’s our next president,” The RTD reports Allen saying at the gathering.

Allen’s campaign has previously said that Allen would not make an endorsement in the presidential primary.

* Democrat financier John Delaney released a poll today showing him with a nine point lead over veteran Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in Maryland’s congressional race.

According to The Washington Post, the survey shows Delaney leading among likely voters 48 percent to 39 percent, with 13 percent undecided.

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