The Northern Virginia Daily's Political Depot

A service for our readers outside the Northern Shenandoah Valley... a sampling of The Daily's political coverage, plus unofficial, 'reporter's notebook' stuff. And occasional dry humor...

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Location: Strasburg, Virginia

Saturday, March 11, 2006

March Madness, Richmond Style UPDATED

For the handful of readers who have nothing better to do on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon, the House and Senate are working hard and fast to wrap up what legislation they can and lay the groundwork for a special session to start next week March 27.

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.