RICHMOND, VA, 8 MARCH 2018: Senate Democrats today voted against measures sponsored by Senate Republicans to extend the 2018 General Assembly until a budget agreement is reached.
Senate Joint Resolution 246 would have extended session for 30 days. Requiring a two-thirds vote to be approved, it failed 21 to 19 with every Senate Democrat voting against it.
Senate Joint Resolution 247 would have extended session for just 3 days. Also requiring a two-thirds vote to be approved, Senate Democrats unanimously opposed the measure causing it to fail 21 to 19.
With every Republican voting for these resolutions, the support of only six Democrat senators would have been required to satisfy the two-thirds threshold.
Tomorrow, senators will vote on Senate Joint Resolution 248, which would formally request Governor Northam call a Special Session of the General Assembly to approve a budget. This resolution, like the resolutions to extend regular session, requires a two-thirds majority for passage. Democrat senators voted against waiving readings of the resolution, which effectively prevented it from being voted on today.
“We are very disappointed that our Democrat colleagues would not agree to extend session to complete work on a budget,” said Senator Ryan T. McDougle (R-Hanover), Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee. “Republican senators are ready to stay in session until the General Assembly finishes its primary responsibility of producing a biennial budget. I do not understand the reasoning behind their reluctance to continuing work on reaching a budget agreement, but am proud that Senate Republicans voted to stay.”