The Washington Post

Virginia Senate approves state budget plan

The Virginia Senate on Monday evening passed a state budget that includes tens of millions of additional dollars for public schools, health care and transportation, including $300 million for the Metrorail extension to Dulles Airport.

But the evenly divided chamber rejected an attempt by Democrats to force the state to pay $1.5 million each year for a Republican-supported law that requires women to undergo ultrasounds before abortions.

“This has nothing to do with abortion,’’ Senate Minority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said. “We are dealing with a mandate.”

Sen. Jeff McWaters (R-Virginia Beach) said: “This is about the sanctity of human life.’’

The amendment died 19-20 with Sen. Charles Colgan (D-Prince William) voting with Republicans; Sen. Jill Vogel (R-Winchester) was absent. A similar proposal failed in the regular session.

The Senate’s 35-4 vote on the budget proposal paves the way for the General Assembly, in the second week of a special session, to pass the two-year, $85 billion spending plan. Two Democrats joined two Republicans to reject the spending plan.

“After a long, arduous partisan process, I’m relieved we passed a budget with a bipartisan vote,’’ Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment (R-James City) said.

The House of Delegates will return to the state Capitol Tuesday.

A dozen negotiators appointed by legislative leaders to hammer out a budget compromise during the special session — Republicans
and Democrats, delegates and senators — will now begin to hash out an agreement between the two chambers. All 140 legislators
will vote on the budget after the negotiating team reaches a deal.

“We’re pleased we got Virginians a budget that restores millions of dollars to support school children, ensures families won’t be hit with budget-busting tolls, repairs the safety net for the most vulnerable Virginians, and gets some relief for homeowners hurt by the foreclosure crisis,” said Sen. A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico).



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Making family dinnertime happen
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
New limbs for Pakistani soldiers
Play Videos
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Learn to make this twice-baked cookie
How to prevent 'e-barrassment'
Play Videos
Syrian refugee: 'I’m committed to the power of music'
The art of tortilla-making
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
Play Videos
Circus nuns: These sisters are no act
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
Cool off with sno-balls, a New Orleans treat