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The General Assembly Kicks off in Grand Fashion

The Associated Press

Amid much pomp and circumstance, day one of the Virginia General Assembly kicked off today in Richmond. 

 A chorus of the national anthem, a pledge to the flag, and an oath of office, and the 2016 session of the House of Delegates is off. But before it all, a prayer for the legislators.  

"Our most gracious heavenly father, I pray that as they face the onslaught of nearly 3,000 pieces of legislation that you'll give to each of them the wisdom to discern what is best and what is right."

What is best and right won't always be clear in this divided legislature. Over the next two months, the assembly will be tackling issues like gun control, Medicaid expansion and how much to change the Governor's $109 billion budget proposal.

"Our biggest priority this year is going to be crafting a new two year state budget,” said Republican Bill Howell. "We must continue to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars."

Howell, whose election as speaker of the house, a role he’s held since 2003, was an easy vote for the delegates. And that might be something of a rarity in the days to come. 

Mallory Noe-Payne is a Radio IQ reporter based in Richmond.
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