- General Assembly. With the inauguration over, the GA is in full swing. Richmond Sunlight shows 2,163 bills have been filed. I’ve not had time to review them all, but some are dead because they are proposed constitutional amendments. Both the House and Senate have decided – appropriately, I think – to not hear such bills this session because they have to pass two sessions of the legislature with an election in between. There is no General Assembly election this fall. Hearing those bills next year makes sense, as the next GA election is 2015. Besides, there are other things to consider.
- The Virginia Budget. Topping the list of other things is the budget. We’ve not heard much about this yet, but it is humming in the background as the big thing that will need to be done. The fact that the chairs of the money committees, Chris Jones of House Appropriations and Walter Stosch of Senate Finance, provided the response to Gov. McAuliffe’s remarks Monday night should have alerted everyone to how serious this is. Now is a good time to review how to navigate the Virginia budget.
- State Senate. The Senate is down two members. A recount is looming in the 6th – the petition is expected to be filed today – and the special election in the 33rd is next Tuesday. If Democrats win both, LG Northam will be the deciding vote in the event of a tie. But if the Ds lose either, the LG won’t have much to do.By the way – I’m holding my 6th Senate election postmortem until after the race is decided. I’m hearing that the recount will encompass only about 450 paper ballots. All of the localities in the 6th use DRE machines, which, of course, can’t really be recounted. I will be surprised if the result changes.
- Norfolk News. Gotta love this quote from Norfolk Councilman Tommy Smigiel: “We keep on cycling the same names.” While referring to the latest recycled name, it could equally apply to the appointment of a temporary council member last week, not that we didn’t know that was coming.
- Two Congressional openings. Last month, Frank Wolf announced his retirement. Yesterday, Jim Moran did the same. That’s a heck of a loss in terms of seniority for Virginia’s Congressional delegation. But hey – the Democratic primary for Moran’s replacement ought to be fun to watch.
Gotta run. Have a good day!