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What should Virginians expect from the 2024 General Assembly?

In January, Democrats will take control of the General Assembly for the last two years of a Republican administration.

What kind of legislation can we expect from a General Assembly controlled by Democrats? And, how much of a workout will the Republican governor's veto pen get? Former Republican Governor Jim Gilmore says he expects a lot of extreme bills.

"They will have a unified strategy to pursue very liberal topics," says Gilmore. "And, if they can somehow intimidate the Republican minority or the governor into going along, they can actually implement some of these policies that they actually believe in."

Former House Democratic Leader David Toscano says he expects the new Democratic majority to take action in alignment with the issues they campaigned on this year.

"I would suggest that they would build on what their constituents want, that are reasonable positions that the broad cross-section of Virginians want," Toscano says. "And I think those include reasonable gun safety measures. I think they include the protection of reproductive rights. Beyond that, I think they ought to find places where they can work with the governor like education and education funding."

Funding for education and everything else will be the first topic they'll consider next month, when the governor sends his legacy budget to lawmakers.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.