Finally! Legislators agree on state budget
A day after deadlocking once again on the $85 billion spending plan for the 2012-2014 biennium, a sudden break by Democratic State Sen. Chuck Colgan from what had been unified Democratic Party opposition to the state budget led to its passage on Wednesday.
Colgan, D-Prince William, told reporters after the 21-19 vote in the Senate in which he was the lone Democrat to side with the 20 Senate Republicans in favor of the spending plan that he “didn’t feel very good about not having a budget.”
Negotiations on the budget had stalled on funding for an extension of an existing subway system to serve Washington-Dulles International Airport. Democrats had been seeking additional funding from the state to keep down tolls on commuters to pay for the expansion.
“I thank Sen. Chuck Colgan for his leadership today. He put policy ahead of politics,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a statement.
The budget does not become law until McDonnell gives the bill his signature. The governor said he will begin an expedited comprehensive review of the final budget document in the weeks ahead.