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Afternoon Read: Virginia to End Session With No Budget

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    NEWSLETTERS

    With the clock running out and no buzzer beater shot, the VIirginia General Assembly will conclude its 60-day legislative session Saturday without passing a state budget.

    The evenly split Senate is currently in a standoff after Democrats voted against a proposed $85 billion budget two times.

    But the members of the House of Delegates and Virginia Senate unanimously agreed today to a procedural resolution that will allow the legislature to continue consideration of the spending plan in a special session, according to The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

    It is unclear when the legislature will reconvene, but Gov. Bob McDonnell is clearly unhappy with the special session.

    The RTD reports that he released a letter to Democrats chiding them for waiting until the end of the legislative session to forward additional amendments to the budget. He also noted that an extended session will cost taxpayers additional money.

    Members from both parties in the House and Senate have been meeting to try and work out a budget that addresses all sides’ concerns.

    A partial government shutdown is possible if they cannot pass a budget by the end of the fiscal year on July 1.

    * Gov. McDonnell signed a bill into law Thursday that would require all people convicted of a DUI to pass a breathalyzer test before they start their cars.

    Under current Virginia law, people who have been convicted of two or more DUIs are required to have an ignition interlock device on their vehicles.

    Now people will need to have such devises from the first offense on.

    * Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell are set to face off once again on NBC’s “Meet the Press” this Sunday.

    Each governor is the head of his party's respective governors association, so the two neighboring leaders debate each other rather frequently.

    They will spar over the economy and the presidential campaign Sunday.

    O’Malley supports Obama, while McDonnell has been campaigning heavily for Romney and is thought to be a top contender for the V.P. spot.

    * Metro Transit has established a new task force to address sexual harassment on the transit system and is urging all of its employees to report any cases to the police.

    The Washington Examiner reports that several riders testified at a D.C. council hearing last month asking that Metro take harassment more seriously. Some even said that Metro works have minimized and laughed at riders’ complaints.

    The agency has created an email address for complaints: harassment@wmata.com.

    * On Thursday a 52-year-old D.C. man killed himself by jumping in front of a train at the Foggy Bottom station right before Metro officials were scheduled to discuss how to prevent suicides on the Metro system.

    The Washington Examiner notes this eerie coincidence:

    Metro staff whispered the news to each other, and some rushed out, during a presentation about suicide prevention. General Manager Richard Sarles interrupted the meeting to announce the agency had another case.

    The suicide was the 61st case of riders intentionally hit by trains since 2005 and the fourth this year, according to Metro. Others have jumped from agency parking garages.

    * Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley was on "The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC Thursday evening talking about his legalization of gay marriage bill.

    He said he expected the referendum on same-sex marriages would pass in November, but said that if it didn’t pass, it would not be a major set back to the larger cause of gay rights.

    "I believe the people of our state will once again side on the side of human dignity,” O’Malley said.

    Read more from the Washington Post.