May 23, 2006
The Virginia Senate is making headway on a final budget plan. Today they passed a revised budget that doesn't include tax increases for transportation. That was one of the big debates that concerned the house and was holding everything up.
The new plan includes a flat $339 million to go towards roads and rail projects. However, the House agreed to deal with that separately in the fall and move forward with the rest of the budget. Local Delegate Rob Bell said the new agreement is promising but there's still a lot more work to do.
"We haven't seen their budget so I don't know if they're doing other things like spending the transportation money on other things, we just don't know, but at least they're saying you don't have to raise taxes to get a budget and that's an important step for us to try and come up with a budget," said Bell.
The budget has been at a standstill for the past four months, the longest time in Virginia history. The current two-year budget expires June 30 and if there's no decision by then, the states government could partially shut down.