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Posted at 10:24 AM ET, 03/29/2012

List of Virginia budget negotiators grows

And then there were 14.

The list of negotiators charged with hammering out a budget deal has grown from a dozen to 14 legislators.

The Senate initially named Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment (R-James City), Sens. John Watkins (R-Powhatan), Emmett
Senate Minority Leader Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax),left, answers a question as Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment ( R-James City) right, listens. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Hanger (R-Augusta), Walter Stosch (R-Henrico), Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) and Charles Colgan (D-Prince William) to work on a compromise.

But it has now added Senate Minority Leader Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax) and Sen. Steve Newman (R-Lynchburg ) to help with changes to the current budget, for the fiscal year that ends June 30. (Norment and Howell are supposedly not involved in the so-called caboose budget, but it’s likely all eight senators have a hand in both spending plans.)

The House of Delegates has the same six conferees for both budgets: Dels. Lacey Putney (I-Bedford), Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Beverly Sherwood (R-Frederick), Chris Jones (R-Suffolk), Steve Landes (R-Augusta) and Johnny S. Joannou (D-Portsmouth).

The Senate’s vote earlier this week paved the way for negotiators to meet in small groups and begin to hash out disagreements between the two chambers.

The General Assembly, in the second week of a special session, hopes to pass a two-year, $85 billion spending plan next week.

By  |  10:24 AM ET, 03/29/2012

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