General Assembly begins special session, but has little to show for it
Governor Glenn Youngkin can call lawmakers to Richmond. But he can't make them agree on a budget. That's why Monday's special session of the General Assembly didn't amount to much.
House Appropriations Chairman Barry Knight says House Republicans are still working out differences with Senate Democrats. "The budget negotiations are ongoing," Knight told Delegates. "We are talking to them a little bit back and forth. They're kind of taking their time, and we're ready to meet anytime they are."
Lawmakers say they expect some kind of agreement to emerge before the end of the fiscal year, which is on June 30.
Senator Barbara Favola is a Democrat from Arlington who says budget conferees will be hearing from their local governments. "Local school systems actually offer their teacher contracts usually in April, and they'd like to have some assurance that there is a state budget when they offer the contracts to the teachers. So I expect there will be some -- let's just say -- momentum coming up from the grassroots that will encourage the conferees to come to an agreement."
Special sessions don't happen for free. All 140 lawmakers get per diems. Plus there's mileage to and from the Capitol. So that's a price tag to taxpayers of at least $40,000 for a special session without much to show for it.