McDonnell privately asks Democrats for time on budget
At a morning meeting with Democratic leaders, we're told Gov. Bob McDonnell pleaded for time and help in closing the state's $4 billion budget shortfall. According to several participants, McDonnell referred to comments made on the Senate floor made in recent days on cuts, and essentially asked Democrats to lay off a bit and give him time to put forward suggestions.
The Democrats said that McDonnell repeated his intentions to give them his suggestions on where the budget should be cut in the not terribly distant future. He did not commit to sending down his ideas as formal amendments to the budget nor to suggesting cuts that would total the full shortfall.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Colgan (D-Prince William), who earlier this week had said he believed the governor's public comments about whether he would be releasing budget amendments did not match what he had told lawmakers privately, now said he was giving McDonnell the benefit of the doubt.
"I just don't want to be wrong on something that critical," Colgan said. He said McDonnell had asked for cooperation from Democrats and he intended to attempt to provide it.
Democrats also mentioned to McDonnell the suggestion put forward by Kaine on the local school funding formula, which has many Northern Virginians very concerned. McDonnell apparently promised to examine the issue but made no committments.
One area where McDonnell apparently laid out some specifics was legislation he'd like to see adopted that would aid the establishment of charter schools in Virginia. Under legislation he will ask be proposed, McDonnell told Democrats, the state board of education would retain the ability to review and approve charter school applications but a new independent body would be established to review the applications of schools rejected by the state board.
January 29, 2010; 2:17 PM ET
Categories: General Assembly 2010 , House of Delegates , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , State Senate
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