Virginia’s political world has been busy these last couple weeks.
We have had a few elections and a primary to fill seats vacated by legislators either retiring or being elected to another office.
In District 90 that covers part of Norfolk and Virginia Beach former democratic Delegate Algie Howell retired and Norfolk attorney Joe Lindsey easily won that seat. Mr. Lindsey is also a democrat and focused his campaign on education, Medicaid expansion and voting rights.
The 4th district which encompasses Dickenson, part of Russell, Washington and Wise saw republican Delegate Ben Chafin be elected to the Senate after one term in the House of Delegates to replace former democratic Senator Phil Puckett who retired earlier this year. The election to fill the House seat left vacant by now Senator Chafin will be held on December 9th. The deadline to nominate candidates is October 9th at 5:00 p.m.
In the 63rd district of Virginia, which is Petersburg, part of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Hopewell and Prince George saw Delegate Rosalyn Dance run for the Senate seat that was left vacant by the retirement of Senator Henry Marsh. Delegate Dance won the primary easily and all bets on her winning the election in November.
The legislators were back in Richmond last week for a special session. This session was called so that the issue of Medicaid Expansion could get a fair debate. As predicated expansion did not get passed and both sides argued their position. The House of Delegates passed a resolution that would allow the Speaker of the House to hire an attorney who could sue Governor McAuliffe if he attempted to expand Medicaid without General Assembly approval. This issue is far from over and we anticipate seeing more during the 2015 Session.
The legislature did pass a budget bill that will help to plug a $2.4 billion hole. This comes with many cuts across the board, the hardest hit being higher education. The Governor still has money that needs to be cut and he will be announcing those cuts when he introduces his budget in December.