Hope of budget breakthrough tied to panel's action - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Down to the wire: Hope of budget breakthrough tied to panel's action

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Hopes for a prompt resolution to the partisan Senate standoff over a new Virginia budget to fund state operations the next two years reside Friday morning with the Senate Finance Committee.

Earlier House and Senate versions of the budget were killed in the crossfire between the Senate's 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans. A version the House revived a week ago is the General Assembly's last hope of enacting a budget in the 2012 regular session.

The committee meets at 10 a.m. Friday. Adjournment is scheduled for Saturday.

Friday's committee action comes after senior Democratic Sen. Chuck Colgan admonished the evenly split Senate, particularly his own party, to restrain partisan hostilities and realistically negotiate a budget.

Colgan's words are important because he could represent the 21st vote Republicans need for passage.

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