Early morning budget deal struck in Virginia General Assembly
Leading members of the Virginia House of Delegates and state Senate reached a deal on revisions to the state's two year budget around 1:30 a.m., as weary delegates and senators broke deadlocks in health and human resources and public safety spending.
The early morning accord has provided just enough time for even wearier legislative staff to work through the night to compile the budget and distribute it to the 140 members of the General Assembly in time for a vote on the document around 5 p.m. Sunday, as the two sides had agreed late Saturday.
The 46-day session was supposed to end Saturday. But the House and Senate agreed to go into a one-day overtime because they could not agree on revisions to the $78 billion two-year budget they adopted last year.
The Senate wanted to use better-than-expected tax revenues to restore funding to public schools and Medicaid programs slashed a year ago. The House wanted to use the money for one-time spending projects that will not grow in future years and to refill the state's rainy day fund.
The budget deal they reached early Sunday morning gives both sides some of what they wanted--new dollars for schools and health care and also a $114 million deposit in the rainy day fund and money to begin eliminating Virginia's accelerated sales tax program, a House priority.
The Democratic-led Senate salvaged some funding for public radio and broadcasting. The GOP-held House turn aside some proposals from the Senate to raise fees.
Rosalind S. Helderman and Anita Kumar
| February 27, 2011; 11:36 AM ET
Categories: Budget, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates
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