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
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.