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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

RTD: Rancor reigned at 2012 General Assembly

As the legislature has now been notified of Governor McDonnell's actions on the approximately 1600 bills passed during the 2012 session of the General Assembly, and they prepare to vote on a budget for the Commonwealth next Tuesday, a day before the Reconvened Session to act on the Governor's amendments and vetoes, we have one more article telling us about how social issues caused all of the rancor during the 2012 General Assembly.  All of these articles point to repeal of Virginia's gun rationing law, bills requiring voter identification when attempting to cast a vote on Election Day, and pro-life legislation, as a major reason for the partisanship.  University of Virginia Political Scientist Larry Sabato put it like this:
"There's a different tone. It's a more aggressive tone and a much more partisan tone, and I think it's fair to say the partisanship's on both sides," he said.
Sabato is on to something. The Democrats were not happy when Republican Lt. Governor Bill Bolling cast a tie breaking vote to organize the evenly split State Senate with a Republican majority including all important committee chairmanships.  They resorted to asserting control the only way they could, stopping the passage of a state budget, which required 21 votes in the senate.  Bolling does not have the constitutional power to break a tie on budget votes.  They are still threatening to stop passage of a budget next week.
"You ain't got 21 votes in the Senate for a budget — period," Sen. Richard L. Saslaw, D-Fairfax, said late Thursday. "Not now. Not next week. Not next month. Not June. That's the way it is."
We'll know next week if Virginia is going down the road traveled by politicians in D.C.

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