Legislature continues to negotiate budget

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Time is ticking away at the state capitol and a budget agreement does not appear in sight.

It seems as though the only person concerned about this budget passing on time is the governor. Bob McDonnell made a special visit to House and Senate budget negotiators today, hoping to encourage the on-time passage of the budget. That was this morning, now the chances of this budget being passed on time, appear unlikely.

Governor Bob McDonnell knew it was going to be tough, but when he submitted his budget changes that were in excess of two billion dollars, he stressed to his legislative colleagues that he wanted it passed on time. Now, with only one day left in the legislative calendar, the prospects of an on-time budget continue to dwindle.

Both the 9th and 10th floor of the General Assembly building, were busy with members of the House and Senate budget committees going back and forth over specific and in depth budget items. The negotiations are said to be cordial, but just moving very, very slow. The governor's unannounced visit does not appear to have moved the process forward at any quicker of a rate.

From a practical standpoint, the two sides would have to come to at least a hand-shake agreement by some time tonight, in order to be able to have the appropriate time to pass all of the amendments required to put the budget in place. And as we mentioned, the prospects of even a broad agreement seem unlikely at this point.

I spoke to House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith briefly today and he said that he didn't have anything to tell me, but he wished that he did. Not a good sign about the slow progress of this spending plan.

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