The General Assembly adjourned its 2012 session Saturday without a budget agreement, instead agreeing to return March 21 for a special session.
Though the House of Delegates has passed a version of Gov. Bob McDonnell's two-year, $85 billion spending plan, the Senate has failed to do the same, largely because the chamber's Democrats wanted to as well as reassess the budget priorities.
Budget work groups from both houses will continue to negotiate until the special session convenes.
"The people of Virginia will benefit from our taking this extra time, taking time to make sure they are protected," Sen. Janet Howell, D-Reston, said in a statement. "I feel they’re right at my back saying, stick by it, girl."
On March 7, Sens. Don McEachin, D-Richmond, and Dick Saslaw, D-Springfield, sent a letter to Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell outlining their budget priorities, which included funding requests for transportation, education, health care and social services.
In his reply letter, McDonnell expressed his disappointment both that he received clarity on their demands so late in to the regular session and that a special session will be necessary.
[Y]ou and I know that all of these differences could have been handled within the confines of the regular session of the General Assembly if that is what you really desired," McDonnell wrote in his March 9 letter.