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McDonnell visits legislators on their turf, encourages budget deal

Rosalind Helderman

As negotations over Virginia's budget proceed, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) made an unannounced appearance in the General Assembly Building to encourage the House and Senate to come to terms.

McDonnell met separately with House and Senate conferees in their respective lairs on the 9th and 10th floors of the building. Sen. William C. Wampler Jr. (R-Bristol) said it was the first time he could recall in more than a decade as a budget conferee that a governor has come onto the lawmakers' terrain in the final days of negotiations to encourage them to complete their work.

Wampler said McDonnell asked what he could do to help the two sides finish in time for an on-time adjournment of the session Saturday. He said his staff was available to help as needed.

With a twinkle in his eye, Wampler said senators told McDonnell he could help by encouraging House members to come to the Senate's position on various issues. More seriously, he said there was a discussion about how much revenue to raise in fees in the budget, one of the most significant issues that has divided the two sides.

"I think the House has a self-imposed limit on where they will go that is lower than what the governor would accept," Wampler said.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  March 12, 2010; 10:54 AM ET
Categories:  General Assembly 2010 , House of Delegates , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , State Senate  
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