Senate votes 35-4 to pass state budget

The State Senate voted 35-4 on Monday to pass a budget that adds millions to support public schools, reduce the cost of tolls, help families who have suffered during the foreclosure crisis, and protect the safety net that supports the most vulnerable Virginians.

“I’m pleased the Senate has passed this budget, which better funds our public schools and protects the social safety net so many folks have depended on. I hope the House passes this budget, and the Governor signs it,” said Democratic Senate Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax).

“This is a good day for Virginia families. We’re pleased we got a budget that restores millions of dollars to support public schools, ensures families won’t be hit with budget-busting tolls, repairs the safety net for the most vulnerable Virginians, gets some relief for homeowners hurt by the foreclosure crisis.  It is our hope that the Governor and our colleagues in the House of Delegates will agree to support this budget,” said Sen. A. Donald McEachin.

“Senate Democrats fought hard, as in years past, against cuts to public education and cuts to the safety net for Virginians in desperate need. In addition, this budget brings $300 million in toll relief for the Dulles rail project. Because Democrats fought hard, the state is making a major contribution toward the completion of Phase 2,” said Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax).

Senate Democrats fought to restore cuts and improve upon the Governor’s and the Senate Republicans’ budget.

Democrats won $5.9 million of funding to help keep about 1,500 disabled and elderly citizens in their communities and out of nursing homes. Funding for daycare for at-risk children was restored to $2.4 million. The service that helps Virginians with physical disabilities will now receive $870,000 to help them find employment

The improved budget also capitalizes the Housing Trust fund, which will assist families who suffered during the foreclosure crisis.

Senate Democrats also restored cuts to teen pregnancy prevention proposed by the Governor.

Democrats also added over $18 million of cost-of-competing money for Northern Virginia public schools.

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