The House voted 96 to 23 on Monday night to block a state gas and diesel fuel tax increase scheduled for Jan. 1, holding the tax until July at its current rate of 35 cents a gallon.
A number of prominent Democrats joined Republicans in supporting the measure, including Reps. Bill Faison and Tricia Cotham, both of which are eyeing higher political office.
A final House vote is expected Tuesday -- but it's likely futile. It's apparently dead-on-arrival in the Senate.
Senate leader Phil Berger expressed concerns about the bill, particularly because it defers decisions about cutting road projects to the executive branch. "I have expressed concerns about ... a bill that does not specify which projects are dealt with," he said.
But more than anything, the Senate likely won't be in town when the bill comes over from the House. The Senate is adjourning at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday to satisfy the adjournment resolution calling for a three-day session, instead of waiting until tomorrow to leave.