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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Virginia Democrats wrong on budget block

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Senate Democrats in Richmond have refused to pass a budget. Worse, they freely admit that their refusal has nothing to do with the proposed budget. Instead, they effectively are keeping the entire state in limbo because they are angry about their committee assignments in the Virginia Senate.

They've decided to block the budget only to "make a statement that we need bipartisan government," according to Sen. John S. Edwards, Roanoke Democrat. Senate Democrats are now threatening to shut down the Virginia government until they get their way.

Their irresponsible decision to block the budget threatens funding to Northern Virginia public schools, the pay of law enforcement officers, funding for local governments and even funding for programs and services for our seniors. Important safety nets like Medicaid will go without state funding, jeopardizing our seniors and others.

Senate Democrats are irresponsibly and brazenly placing their insatiable need for political power ahead of the needs of Virginia's residents. Virginians did not elect the Senate Democrats to hold these critical decisions over the heads of their constituents. Nor did we elect them to irresponsibly play games intended only to further their own personal ambitions.

Their Democratic colleagues in the House of Delegates have done their duty and have voted for the budget. It's about time the Democrats in the Senate do their jobs and vote on the budget.

MIKE GINSBERG

Arlington

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