Virginia legislature at odds with Gov. Youngkin over budget

FOX 5 is staying ahead of the latest developments regarding the Virginia state budget— an especially big point of interest this year given the back and forth about whether the Wizards and Capitals would move to Alexandria.

Based on what’s happening publicly, there’s a long road ahead if an arena deal were to happen.

Right now, the Virginia Legislature is controlled by Democrats but Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who signs or vetoes the bills they pass, is a Republican.

Democrats passed bills that speak to their legislative priorities and a budget that doesn’t have money to facilitate a Wizards and Capitals move. Youngkin would like to see an arena happen.

So, there’s a world where both sides sit down, compromise, and figure something out before the legislature's budget session begins next month but based on what we’ve seen so far, we don’t seem to be living in that world right now.

Youngkin has been touring the Commonwealth, calling the budget before him "backward."

RELATED: Gov. Glenn Youngkin signs several new bills into law as Virginia legislative session closes

According to a letter obtained by Southwest Virginia’s Cardinal News, Democratic leaders told Youngkin it was hard to envision productive negotiations given his public criticism.

The Associated Press reports both sides met virtually last week before that letter was sent.

Dwayne Yancey with Cardinal News says a lot can change, but based on what’s happening publicly, a late arena deal feels far off.

 "Right now, it’s not looking good. Could there be a deal? Yes. But that would require all the parties sitting down around the table and everybody being willing to give something," Yancey said. "It’s unclear at this point whether one, they’re going to be sitting around that table and two, what the governor might be prepared to give." 

FOX 5 will keep up with the developments as Virginia Legislators and the governor work on a budget deal, all while Youngkin has bills on his desk that include democratic priorities like retail marijuana sales and raising the minimum wage.

April 8 is the last day the governor has to sign or veto bills on his desk. Depending on what happens between now and then, it could give signs of how contentious the budget battle will continue to be when the legislature reconvenes April 17.