I believe it was Patrick Henry who once said no man’s life, liberty or property is safe when the General Assembly is in session. Well then some good news, on Sunday the Virginia General Assembly adjourned. And during this session, which lasted 47 days, Virginia lawmakers considered 2,692 bills. They passed 1,599 of them and killed the rest. The session was supposed to end on Saturday, but because of an impasse legislators decided to go one more day to finalize an agreement on the budget. The highlights of the session, the new budget has no new taxes, a big increase in funding for transportation, more slots opened at Virginia’s universities and colleges, and tougher regulations on abortion clinics. On the minus side, I was sorry to see that ABC privatization did not even get a vote.
Gov. Bob McDonnell has 30 days from adjournment to consider Bills passed by the Legislature. He can sign veto or amend. Legislators will then return to Richmond on April 6 to act on the governor's amendments and vetoes.
The end of the session also brought some retirement announcements.Yeah! Senators Patricia Ticer (D-Alexandria) and Mary Margaret Whipple (D-Arlington), and Delegate Albert Pollard (D-Northumberland), announced that they will not seek re-election this fall. These retirements are good news for all of us who believe in low taxes, and limited Government.
The next big fight redistricting. The legislature will take up redrawing congressional boundaries and legislative districts in April.