One day after Senate Democrats blocked passage of the last remaining state budget bill, Del. Lacey Putney, I-Bedford, has introduced a new spending bill on the floor of the House of Delegates.
The House this afternoon granted unanimous consent for Putney to introduce a new budget bill and give lawmakers another chance to complete their most important task before the legislature’s scheduled March 10 adjournment date. House leaders said they will move the bill through the House Appropriations Committee this afternoon and hold a floor vote tomorrow. The Senate would get the bill next week.
The $85 billion budget bill is identical to the one the Republican-dominated House passed last week. The Senate amended the bill to match the spending plan that was approved by the Senate Finance Committee last month.
But, like the Senate’s original budget plan, the House bill failed to get the 21 Senate voted needed to pass. Democrats are blocking passage of the budget bill partly because they want Republicans to share power in the evenly-divided chamber, a demand that Senate GOP leaders have rejected.
Putney, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said this is the first time in his 51 years in the legislature that he has asked for unanimous consent to introduce a bill after the filing deadline.
– Michael Sluss