Republicans flip Democrat to pass state budget

Posted at 11:30 PM, Apr 18, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-19 07:16:08-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – After three times voting down Virginia's budget proposal, Virginia's State Senate passed the budget Wednesday at the Capitol. The House and Senate had congregated back to Richmond for “Veto Day.”

The passage of the two-year, $85 billion dollar budget eliminated concern that state services would cease if a budget agreement could not be reached.

The negotiating point was originally a transportation issue.

The Virginia state budget, which easily passed the House, did not pass the Senate on Tuesday; the vote was 20-19.

[WATCH VIDEO:  Dr. Bob Holsworth on the importance of state budget vote]

Twenty-one votes are needed to pass the state budget. Senator Chuck Colgan (D-Manassas), who previously told CBS 6 he was going to vote for this budget, altered his vote.

Republicans persuaded Sen. Colgan to vote with them, although funding for a Metro extension to Dulles Airport was excluded.

In response to Sen. Colgan’s vote, Senate Democrat Donald McEachin said, “I don't agree with the decision the senator made, but, I respect him and he's still a member of our caucus and as we like to say, we still love him.”

Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement following General Assembly passage of the new biennial budget.

“I want to thank the members of the House of Delegates and the State Senate who came together, across party lines, to pass the biennial budget today,” said Gov. Bob McDonnell in a release.

“In the House, there was broad bipartisan support for the document. In the Senate, it took the courage and the statesmanship of one Democratic Senator, Chuck Colgan, to secure this outcome for the good of the citizens of Virginia.”

Republican Senator Ryan McDougle told CBS 6 he’s happy the budget passed because it will keep state departments like VDOT from shutting down and allows local governments to pass their own budgets.