Virginia lawmakers race to pass bills before end of session

Posted at 2:43 PM, Mar 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 17:32:26-05

RICHMOND, Va. - It may be Friday, but at the State Capitol, the calendar says Thursday.

Lawmakers didn't officially adjourn Thursday's session in order to bypass key deadlines and spent much of Friday's session on Thursday's calendar. It's all part of an effort to pass bills before the session ends.

The calendar says the session will end Saturday, but with several key issues outstanding it's not clear what will happen. Key issues still have to be worked out, including the minimum wage and casino gambling.

Both the House of Delegates and Senate have to pass the exact same versions of bills in order to send them to the governor's desk for his action.

Both chambers appeared to reach deals on two gun bills. Background checks will be required for gun purchases, but not transfers. The one gun a month bill will now exempt concealed carry permit holders. Both bills are more moderate than other versions of the legislation.

The Virginia Clean Economy Act has also now passed the General Assembly. It will set more environmentally-friendly policies, and picked up bipartisan support.

"I do think it's the way the legislative process works. You have to give and take in the process," said Del. Terry Kilgore (R-Scott). "Quite frankly, folks, that's what we should all be more about in this body is trying to get to a yes and help more folks in the Commonwealth."