March Madness, Richmond Style UPDATED
Taking advantage of a provision in the state constitution, the Senate passed a resolution asking the governor to call them into special session to talk about the budget — not transportation. The resolution passed unanimously, but not until a brief debate between Sen. Ken Cuccinelli, R-Fairfax, and Sen. Thomas Norment, R-Williamsburg, over adding "transportation" to the docket of the extraordinary session.
Cuccinelli's amendments were defeated in a voice vote.
But things aren't cruising along on the House side, either. House Joint Resolution 555, which mirrors the Senate resolution, failed in a 58-to-41 vote. If the leadership can't get 67 of its members to go along with the resolution, the "call" of the special session will be in the hands of Gov. Tim Kaine, D.
With 2/3 support of the resolution, legislators set the times and matters that can be considered. Without it, it's up to Kaine to call the tune for the special session.
The House has taken up the Senate version of the resolution, SJR 306, and approved it 96-to-0. Del. Vince Calahan, R-McLean, attatched an amendment to the bill that, according to Sen. John Chichester, R-Frederickburg, would prevent the Senate from introducing its own budget. That amendment was rejected unanimously and sent back to the House of Delegates.
Done deal. Kaine has just called a special session, March 27 at noon, to deal with the budget and transportation issues.