Va. Budget Unanimously Passed


Virginia's House of Delegates and Senate unanimously approved a budget package Sunday evening.

The General Assembly was set to vote on the Commonwealth's budget Saturday, but unfinished business dragged negotiations out late into the evening Saturday.  Legislators voted to extend the budget vote deadline until 5 p.m. Sunday.

If agreement could not be struck on the $80 billion state spending plan, Virginia would have defaulted to the 2-year budget plan agreed on last year.

Points of friction between the two parties included funding for police departments, colleges, and $30 million for intellectually and developmentally disabled.

The budget will include funds for a mammoth highway funding plan championed by Gov. Bob McDonnell.  The transportation plan calls for $3 billion in borrowing towards $4 billion in transportation and infrastructure spending.

Noticeably absent from the budget was Gov. McDonnell's measure to sell the state's retail liquor monopoly, which would have brought in millions in one-time windfalls.  The governor could not rally enough lawmakers to support the proposal, a signature issue of his last campaign.

House Republicans threatened to walk out of the talks late Saturday, but stuck around to finish negotiations.

The General Assembly has been on schedule with its budget agreement only six out of the last twelve years.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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