Archive for April, 2013

State Budget Increases Funding for Education

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

By Amber Shiflett and Blake Belden
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – During the final hours of Wednesday’s reconvened session, the General Assembly approved a state budget that boosts funding for Virginia’s public schools next year.

Legislators considered changes that Gov. Bob McDonnell wanted them to make to House Bill 1500, which lays out the state budget for the 2013-14 biennium. The assembly had passed the bill in February, but McDonnell recommended 52 amendments.

The House and Senate approved most of the governor’s recommendations, including three that provided $2.35 million in additional funds for education.

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Tourist Train Stopped Dead in its Tracks

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

By Destiny Brandon
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – The Senate on Wednesday upheld Gov. Bob McDonnell’s veto of legislation to boost efforts to establish a tourist train between Tazewell County and Bramwell, W.Va.

In February, the House and Senate both passed Senate Bill 819 to revive the Tourist Train Development Authority that had been working on the project until the state shut it down in 2011. But McDonnell vetoed the bill, stating, “There has been no investment to procure a train to make this a reality.”

Sen. Phillip Puckett, D-Tazewell, had sponsored SB 891. He said he wasn’t sure what the governor meant. He said local officials in Southwest Virginia and neighboring West Virginia had been working earnestly on the project.

On Wednesday, the General Assembly convened for a one-day session to consider McDonnell’s vetoes. The Senate sustained the veto of SB 819, thus blocking the resurrection of the Tourist Train Development Authority.

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