House passes a third state budget; sends plan to Senate

The House of Delegates voted 75-22 Friday afternoon for a third two-year $85 billion budget.

The Virginia Senate killed two previous budgets after all 20 Democrats voted against the spending plans in a bid for more power in the equally divided chamber

Del. Lacey Putney (I-Bedford), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, had asked the GOP-controlled chamber to allow the budget to be re-introduced by unanimous consent Thursday.

After a lengthy debate in which House Democrats tried — mostly unsuccessfully — to amend the bill to add money for education and health care, the House passed the bill. “I think we are seriously shortchanging our students,” Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax) said.

Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) said he hopes the Senate “comes to their senses” and approves the bill next week so the two chambers can begin to negotiate differences.

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