Virginia lawmakers returned to Richmond Monday to continue their Special Session of the General Assembly. They worked into the night to repeal a state budget provision that delayed a portion of sales tax revenues from being deposited into the transportation trust fund for one year. The provision had originally been passed to help close a 2.4-billion-dollar revenue shortfall.
Senate Finance Committee co-chairman Walter Stosch explained why they were revising the provision:
Virginia lawmakers are going back to the grind to finish business they tried to complete, not once, not twice, but now for the third time this year. They will do so when both houses of the General Assembly convene later today and tonight. The state’s ongoing revenue shortfall will necessitate more tough decisions not long after that.
Delegate John O'Bannon says today's work focuses on two areas. The first is about filling judicial vacancies.
“There is one spot on the State Supreme Court, and I think a couple of spots on the court of appeals.”
Services for children and youth with autism spectrum disorder have improved over the last five years…but the system that provides the services is complex and not uniformly accessible statewide.
That’s one of the findings this week of the Autism Advisory Council-the panel of lawmakers who will identify problems and make recommendations to the General Assembly about how to make the state programs more effective. The demand for long-term services has continued to grow.
If you've ever observed a "hanging judge," you may have wondered if that person has a sense of compassion and what qualified the former lawyer to preside over cases that change lives. During this week’s Special General Assembly Session, state lawmakers plan to cast votes to fill 36 judicial vacancies. Today, the candidates who may be elected or re-elected as judges displayed their softer sides before the lawmakers who ultimately decide whether they're worthy.
In June, four state lawmakers unexpectedly resigned their seats in the General Assembly. While legislative retirements are not unusual, four Democrats in one month calling it quits before their terms expire is not the norm—and left many to wonder why. But, the answer may be as simple as timing and opportunity.