Key votes in Va. could impact tolls for drivers

WASHINGTON – A big battle lies ahead in Virginia over a state budget that includes money to keep some local tolls down.

In the spending plan approved by the Senate Finance Committee, there is $300 million to help finance Phase Two of the Dulles Rail expansion, which could help keep tolls on the Dulles Toll Road down.

The rail money may pass the Senate, but House Speaker Bill Howell says his colleagues in the Republican-controlled chamber are not likely to endorse it.

“We have budgeted $150 million in our budget, so I don’t think you’ll see any more new money coming up,” he says.

Democrats also are going to push for some funding for pre-abortion ultrasounds that the Virginia General Assembly has now mandated. But Howell doesn’t think that will happen either.

“I’m hopeful we’ll get beyond that this coming week (and) be able to come to a compromise very shortly,” he says.

If there is no budget by July 1, Virginia could see a partial government shutdown.

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WTOP’s Hank Silverberg contributed to this report. Follow Hank and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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