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.”
Though it's not yet official Democrat Mark Warner appears to have narrowly won reelection to the US Senate in a contest that was much closer than anticipated. Even in apparent victory, Warner's national brand may have been tarnished by his election night struggle against Republican Ed Gillespie.
It does not appear that Virginia lawmakers have a clear idea of how to house and treat thousands of people who are developmentally and intellectually disabled after the federal government ordered four of the five state facilities to close as part of a settlement with the Department of Justice. The debate isn't about whether it's right to house them within their communities, but whether the state can pay for adequate facilities to fit ALL their needs.