Virginia’s newest U-S senator, Tim Kaine, delivered his maiden speech on the Senate floor this week. His first address to his colleagues came much earlier than expected.
The Senate floor is viewed by many as a sacred space. That’s why most freshmen lawmakers wait months before addressing their peers in the austere chamber. But with billions of dollars in budget cuts slated to rip through his state on Friday, Senator Kaine broke unwritten Senate protocol and spoke on the floor before even finishing his second month in office.
President Obama was in Newport News, Virginia today highlighting the impact of pending budget cuts on the state's defense industry. Virginia Republicans are glad the president is highlighting the state's robust defense industry. But Virginia Congressman Randy Forbes says the president's time would have been better spent in Washington negotiating with congressional leaders.
Many lawmakers and advocates still have abolishing predatory lending practices in Virginia on their agenda… although it hasn't been discussed much this legislative session. But one organization says that since the General Assembly passed reforms, fewer people have been trapped by the high-interest loans that were supposed to be temporary assistance for those with a financial crisis.
The Virginia Senate has voted for a transportation-funding bill that increases the gas tax, removes most of Governor McDonnell’s proposals, and allows Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads to raise extra revenue.