Va. Assembly Agrees To Special Session

Assembly expected to reconvene March 21

Saturday, Mar 10, 2012  |  Updated 4:01 PM EDT
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Va. Assembly Agrees To Special Session

ASSOCIATED PRESS

House Appropriations Committee chairman, Del. Lacey Putney, I-Bedford, right, addresses the House during the session at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Thursday, March 1, 2012. Putney asked for unanimous consent to introduce a budget bill. The House acceded to the request. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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The Virginia House of Delegates and the Virginia Senate have jointly agreed on a resolution that asks Gov. Bob McDonnell to call a special session of the General Assembly to discuss the state's budget.

The legislature was scheduled to adjourn Saturday, but has failed to reach agreement on a budget for the state government over the next two years.

McDonnell has said that he would sign the resolution to reconvene the legislature. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the special session is expected to begin March 21.

The budget has stalled due to partisan disputes in the Virginia Senate. McDonnell's two-year, $85 billion spending plan, which passed the House of Delegates, is currently in the Senate's Finance Committee. Democratic-led efforts have defeated two previous budget proposals.

State Democrats have put forward additional amendments that would call for an additional $450 million in spending. $150 million of that amount would go toward public education, while the rest would toward transportation and reducing the impact of tolls in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

Democrats have also called on McDonnell to abandon his plan to divert additional sales tax revenue to transportation in favor of tying the state's gasoline tax to rise with inflation. They also say the state should pay for the costs of a new law that will require women to get ultrasounds before they can get an abortion.

McDonnell's proposed budget must pass the Senate Finance Committee before going before the full Senate, whose membership consists of 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans. Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, who presides over the Senate can not break ties on budget matters.

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