RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The last version of the state budget bill has died in the Virginia Senate, throwing the state's fiscal future into limbo thanks to a lingering partisan feud.
On party line votes, the Senate's 20 ruling Republicans failed to win from the 20 unified Democrats the 21st vote necessary to pass legislation to appropriate money for state operations through mid-2014.
The dispute dates to a fight in January over the Democrats' demand that the Republicans share power with them in an evenly divided Senate. Republicans refused and used Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling's contested tie-breaking vote to dominate Senate committees and chairmanships. Bolling cannot vote on the budget.
Options remain for introducing a new budget, but senior lawmakers say it would be futile without a truce between Senate Democrats and Republicans.
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