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The Latest: Lawmakers extend session to pass budget

February 24, 2019

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on the Virginia legislative session (all times local):

9 p.m.

Virginia lawmakers are extending this year’s legislative session by an extra day because they weren’t able to pass a budget on time.

Lawmakers were scheduled to wrap up Saturday.

But a group of House Democratic lawmakers were unwilling to waive a rule that requires a 48-hour waiting period before voting on a budget plan after it is introduced.

The House and Senate budget committees unveiled a compromise spending plan Saturday morning.

House Democrats originally pushed to have the vote on Monday, but agreed to vote on Sunday after being pressured by Senate Democrats and Republicans.

The extra day will cost taxpayers about $30,000 in per diem costs.

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5:20 p.m.

Virginia lawmakers are unveiling a budget plan that gives increased raises to state workers and public school teachers, freezes tuition increases at state universities and pads Virginia’s rainy day accounts.

The House and Senate presented their joint budget proposal Saturday. Lawmakers did not immediately say when they would vote to finalize it.

A stronger-than-expected state economy helped give lawmakers hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funds to spend this year. Much of it is going into public education, including pay raises, more school counselors and increased undergraduate financial aid.

Black lawmakers said they were satisfied that the Republican-led budget committees increased funding for school districts with a high concentration of low-income students but said Gov. Ralph Northam should try to add even money through an amendment.