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Divided VA Senate Kills Budget Deal

Democrats vote against proposal due to lack of Silver Line funding.

The Virginia Senate killed a proposed two-year, $85-billion budget proposal on Tuesday after all 20 Democrats voted down the deal due to a lack fo funding for Metrorail's Silver Line Phase 2.

Democratic Sen. Charles Colgan  (Prince William) had signed off on a compromise and had been expected to vote for the spending plan. He ended up siding with his party after no additional money for the extension of Metrorail to Dulles International Airport was included.

If a budget is not passed by the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, there could be a partial government shutdown for the first time in Virginia history.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Republican-led House of Delegates approved the budget by a vote of 77-19.

Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston)

“The issue here is the lack of transportation funding in two different regions of the state," Howell said in a statement Wednesday. "Rail to Dulles will be an economic bonanza because of the jobs it will bring the Commonwealth. And yet some do not want to fund this project properly. The state has only contributed $200 million. Currently $150 million is pledged, but there are all sorts of rules attached to it. The state must make a substantial contribution to this vital project.”

To read more about the budget, read this story in The Washington Post.

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