Even as they steamrolled Democrats in the Virginia Senate, scrapping rules so they could heavily stack committees to favor the GOP, Republicans said they were actually being generous to their friends across the aisle.
A day after they took control of all of Richmond, Virginia Republicans began to assert themselves: The House wasted no time redrawing state congressional districts, and Gov. Robert F. McDonnell again recommended that state employees pay more into the commonwealth’s retirement system.
On the eve of the the 2012 General Assembly session, Gov. Bob McDonnell and GOP leaders outlined a three-pronged agenda and promised to work with Democrats to achieve their legislative goals this year.
Democrats will let Republicans draw first blood in an opening-day General Assembly showdown over whether an evenly split Senate will share power or the GOP will assert a majority.
Republicans took control of the Virginia Senate on Wednesday afternoon when Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling cast a tie-breaking vote to give his party a majority in the equally divided chamber.
Virginia’s General Assembly gaveled to order Wednesday afternoon.
The House of Delegates swore in 15 members and the Senate swore in six members. Family and friends of new members crowded the floor of the chambers along with retiring members, including Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D-Arlington).
Republicans on Wednesday seized control of the Virginia Senate, using a contested tiebreaking vote by their party's lieutenant governor to organize the 20-20 chamber in their favor.
The Virginia General Assembly returns next week for a 60-day session to consider thousands of bills and pass a two-year state budget. After November’s elections, Republicans secured tenuous control of the state Senate and a commanding majority in the House of Delegates. It is only the second time since the Civil War that the Republican Party has had control of both chambers and the governor’s mansion.
The Virginia General Assembly convenes its 2012 session Wednesday amid a turbulent political climate.
Over the next 60 days, lawmakers will wrestle with Gov. Bob McDonnell's proposed $85 billion, two-year budget and hundreds of bills, but Day One will kick off with a key order of business: organizing a politically split Senate.
Republicans poised to take control of the state Senate in January plan to use their newfound power to make additional changes to election district boundaries, including placing the city of Williamsburg back in Senate Republican leader Tommy Norment’s district.