Feels like the Virginia General Assembly comes earlier each year. It seems like only yesterday that I was taking down the life-sized statue of Thomas Jefferson and storing him away for the year, and yet here I am, in our living room, stringing lights around his torso once again.
The oldest continuous law-making body in the New World convenes Jan. 12, and it's already shaping up to be a year filled with contentious issues. One sure to ignite a firestorm is a bill that will allow bicyclists to more easily run red lights, which they can already legally do. It's issues such as this one that will help ensure a healthy socioeconomic future for our Commonwealth.
The bill to benefit bike riders was one of the first to be filed for this year's session, though there will surely be more legislation — some important, some assuredly not — to come. In the spirit of the season, here are a few headlines we'd pay to see during the 60-day lawmaking spree.
Del. Joe Morrissey, D-Highland Springs, who planned to introduce a few key pieces of legislation but decides to check his email first, which leads to his frittering away a few minutes on Facebook, then watching a couple of his speeches on YouTube, which inexplicably somehow sucks him into the Wikipedia entry for "quiche," and next thing anyone knew, the session had ended.
Del. Delores L. McQuinn, D-Richmond, eats chips in the House chamber and attempts to ignore the fact that colleagues can hear the sound of the crumpling bag. She draws further fire for not bringing enough to share.
Breadsticks junkie Del. Riley Ingram, R-62nd District, lends support to a resolution that would force Olive Garden to open a location within a half-mile of his Hopewell home.
Gov. Bob McDonnell, who has said he plans to support legislation to boost commercial space investment in Virginia, holds a press conference on the issue while flanked by members of both political parties, key state business leaders and six representatives from the planet Ergamok.
Del. G. Manoli Loupassi, R-Richmond, slips a few dirty jokes into some of his sponsored legislation to see if anyone actually reads his bills.
Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, D-Arlington, introduces a resolution that would officially make her name the most fun of all the Virginia legislators' names to say.
Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax, attempts to not wear a bow tie for once, fails.