The Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board voted Wednesday to send state funds directly to cities and counties, rather than through the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, a change that local governments had fought.

Political leaders from the six governments that run the NVTC, which manages transportation projects and money in the region, objected to the change, calling it preemptory, costly, confusing and possibly illegal. State transportation officials said they were trying to make it clear how much state money goes to Northern Virginia transportation projects.

Board members told state officials to work with regional leaders to reach a compromise before their next meeting July 18. Kala Quintana, the NVTC’s communications director , said state officials indicated in conversation that if a compromise could not be reached, the procedure will revert to sending the state money to the transportation commission.