Yesterday, Virginia’s General Assembly began a 60-day session that will unfold under a Democratic governor and a potentially divided legislature, according to Jim Nolan with the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The first task the assembly must undertake is settling priorities in the proposed 2-year, $95 billion budget.
“Following them — and in some cases leading them — will be hundreds of lobbyists and flocks of special interest advocates who will nest on Capitol Square in Richmond for the next two months to make friends and influence people, especially those who decide how the $95 billion is spent,” Nolan writes.
Both Democrats and Republicans are expected to pass reformed mental health law following the November 19 stabbing of Sen. Creigh Deeds, by his son, Gus, who later took his own life. Deeds is in Richmond for the 60-day session.
Outgoing Governor McDonnell will deliver his State of the Commonwealth address to the legislature tonight at 7 p.m. The last few months of McDonnell’s tenure have been plagued by the investigation into gifts McDonnell received from wealthy donors. A decision on the investigation is expected in the days following his departure from office on Saturday, when Democrat Terry McAuliffe takes office.