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Legislators return for veto session, budget vote
Date published: 4/16/2012
One of the reasons Stuart had voted against the budget previously was the very thing Howell and Saslaw wanted--it contained bond money to help mitigate tolls. That's been removed now.
House Speaker Bill Howell, R-Stafford, said he doubts a majority of senators would throw away the good things the budget does over money for the Dulles project.
"I can't imagine the Senate voting against it," he said.
The budget bill that lawmakers will vote on Tuesday contains more money than the original budget proposed by Gov. Bob McDonnell for public K-12 education and higher education. It restores $40 million in cost-of-competing funds for Northern Virginia schools.
It also has more money for health programs, like Medicaid eligibility and disability waiver slots.
The budget would provide a bonus and a pay raise to state workers and college faculty if state revenues are good enough. It unfreezes 23 judge positions--legislators will have to vote separately to appoint the judges for those slots. It also alters a budget amendment that would take from certain localities a portion of the fee revenue they get from local ordinances that mirror state ordinances. The revision bumps that up to 40 percent--from 30 percent--which will affect fewer localities.
At the time, Saslaw warned Republican senators that without the money, the Democrats wouldn't vote for the budget on the Senate floor.
The majority of budget negotiators approved the budget compromise anyway, but the battle over Dulles money has continued.
Chelyen Davis: 804/343-2245