VIRGINIA SENATE PASSES ITS VERSION OF THE
Budget unifies senators on both sides of the aisle
RICHMOND – The Virginia Senate passed its version of the budget today, using federal stimulus money to curtail cuts to education, public safety and healthcare.
In a 36-4 vote, Senators passed S.B. 850, which lays out state funding plans for the next two years.
“This bill boils down to one word for me: jobs,” said Sen. Edd Houck (D-Spotsylvania). “Given the seriousness of our economy, we’ve adopted a plan that protects public jobs and secures funding for the Virginians who may hurt the most from the recession.”
With the stimulus package, the bill would restore about $1.2 billion of funding for programs that were previously scheduled for budget cuts, including economic development, public safety and money to help balance the budget at the end of the year.
The Virginia Senate may be the first legislative body to incorporate the federal stimulus plan.
“Our plan is supported by the governor, the Senate Democrats, the Senate Republicans and most House Democrats,” said Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax County). “We have worked with our colleagues across the aisle to provide a budget that carries out Virginia’s core responsibilities and uses the stimulus package to put people to work.
“We are pleased this budget unanimously passed the Senate Finance Committee, and we look forward to continuing cooperation in order to pass a final budget that is best for all Virginians.”