General Assembly looks to merge bills

Posted by Shawn Maclauchlan

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - An update now on bills in the General Assembly that affect education.

A dozen negotiators have started closed-door talks to find a way to marry both the state house and senate versions of the budget.

The democratic senate voted 30-10 to substitute its budget for the house's on Wednesday.

The house did likewise.

That sets up a nine-day slog toward a scheduled March 13 adjournment to finish a budget with revenues $4 billion shy of its forecast.

Democrats said the republican-written house budget guts school and health care funding.

Republicans defended the budget as balanced and within its means, blasting the senate plan for more than $220 million in higher fees.