Lost in Tuesday's kerfluffle over the state budget was the relatively peaceful House of Delegates. As the Senate wrangled over the compromise spending plan, ultimately failing to pass it, the same compromise sailed through the House 77-19.
Del. Gordon Helsel of Poquoson weighed in on his frustration with Those On The Other Side.
“It’s a very difficult thing to understand as to how the Democrats in the Senate are able to hold the entire state of Virginia hostage over this budget. It’s a compromise. The entire state is in a quandary with no funding for judges, teachers, localities.”
For the record, he's not optimistic that the issue will be settled today.
UPDATE: As of 1:12 p.m., no action on the Senate on the failed budget. (Not that we were holding our breath.) Sen. Walter Stosch, R-Henrico, said Republicans who support the budget are still hoping to get at least one Democrat to go along with them, getting to the necessary 21 votes.
The current problem relates to highway tolls in Northern Virginia, the revenue of which will go toward extension of MetroRail to Dulles airport. Northern Virginia Democrats want financial assistance so toll payers don't shoulder so much of the burden.
Perhaps, Stosch said, there is away to convince the other side that their needs will be addressed in a meaningful way over the long term. This would require more than a "we've-agreed-to-come-back-and-talk-some-more" - something more substative.
What form that takes, we'll have to wait and see.