Gov. Bob McDonnell issued the following statement after Democrats stopped the Senate version of the state budget Thursday on 20-17 vote - in order to pass the chamber the budget must receive at least 21 votes, and as President of the Senate Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling can not offer a tie-breaking vote on budget matters.
“Virginia’s budget impacts every single resident of the Commonwealth. Passing a balanced budget, on time, is the most important duty of all of us sent to Richmond. The $85 billion budget reflects our priorities as a people. Through the budget, the Commonwealth timely funds the salaries of our hardworking teachers and police officers. We provide medical care to the less fortunate. We build roads. We protect the environment and provide for water quality. We ensure public safety. Now, for apparently partisan reasons, Senate Democrats may have put a timely budget at risk. I understand that their reason for this action is disappointment over the committee seats they hold. Essentially, with their vote today, they appear to have put committees ahead of communities. This is not the Virginia way.
Throughout the budget process I, along with Senate Republicans, have repeatedly asked Senate Democrats for their input, ideas and proposals regarding the budget. I have not received any substantial list of major priorities. To the degree that specific requests were made to Senate Finance committee leaders, numerous items were included in the budget, as repeatedly evidenced by the lengthy floor debate today. While the House came together to approve their budget on a 79-21 bipartisan vote, Senate Democrats did not support the most important bill facing the General Assembly, and the citizens of Virginia.
During the next five days, prior to the House budget coming to the Senate floor, I ask my friends in the Senate Democratic Caucus to express publicly what specific issues they have so that a timely, balanced, fiscally responsible Senate budget may be adopted next week. My office is ready to help facilitate productive discussions at any time.”