Sunday, March 14, 2004

Overtime in Richmond

Bringing new meaning to the term, "March Madness," the Virginia General Assembly got to the end of regulation with no budget in sight, and so decided to stick it out at least until Tuesday. Here are reports from the Roanoke paper ("Legislators extend session," 3/14/04), the Richmond paper ("Budget epic becoming farce," 3/14/04), the Norfolk paper ("Budget debate to get three days longer," 3/13/04), the Washington Post (registration required) ("Lacking Accord, Va. Lawmakers Extend Session," 3/14/04), the Daily Press ("GA session extended by 3 days," 3/14/04), the Washington Times ("Budget impasse extends session," 3/14/04), the Danville paper ("Budget deadlock continues," 3/13/04), and the Lynchburg paper ("Budget talks remain stalled," 3/14/04).

The House vote to extend the legislative session was 97-2. Southwest Virginia Democrats Joe Johnson and Jackie Stump voted against prolonging the session, with Stump quoted as saying, "All they're doing is playing a game, and all we're going to do is sit here looking at each other." When offered the use of a state plane for a trip home and back, Stump replied, "I don't want a state airplane, I want a budget." (You know things are getting rough when Del. Stump starts to sound like Jay Leno.)

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