Virginia lawmakers kick off 2017 session
(AP) – The Virginia General Assembly's 2017 session has started, with lawmakers kicking off a 45-day sprint Wednesday that will see lawmakers tackle budget problems, state employee pay issues and a host of thorny social issues.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe will give his annual address to lawmakers Wednesday evening, where he's expected to explain his priorities for his last year in office. The governor, a Democrat, faces long odds on getting key parts of his agenda through a GOP-controlled General Assembly.
Lawmakers also have to wrestle with an estimated $1.26 billion shortfall.
Virginia lawmakers are carrying on a nearly four-century-old democratic tradition. The Virginia House of Delegates is the successor to the British colonial House of Burgesses, which first met in Jamestown in 1619.