Virginia Republicans gear up for legislative session

The gang’s all here.

Republicans, led by Gov. Bob McDonnell, announced on the Capitol steps Tuesday that they stand united in forming a “more efficient, effective government.’’ (In case there was any confusion, they stood behind a massive banner that said just that.)

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was joined by Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, left, and Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, right, during a press conference at the Capitol (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A day before the General Assembly kicks off its annual session, Republicans, who now control both chambers and the governor’s mansion for the second time since the Civil War, unveiled their legislative agenda.

“I think I can speak for all the distinguished men and women behind me to say that while we have a majority, we will not be arrogant, we will not overreach, we will not lose focus on creating jobs, improving our quality of life for our citizens and, ultimately, solving problems,” McDonnell said. “We’ll be civil, but we’ll be passionate about the things Republicans and conservatives believe in for the future of our state.”

All of the proposals had been introduced before, including more money for colleges and universities, transportation and job creation, pension reform and budget goals.

McDonnell was joined by Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, House Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford) and Sen. Thomas Norment (R-James City), who was alternately called Republican leader and majority leader.

Bolling and Cuccinelli, who had not spoken in a month since the attorney general announced he would run against the lieutenant governor, stood side by side. Cuccinelli gave Bolling a pat and the two later shared a laugh.

The group stood outside the Capitol on the South Portico — the same spot where McDonnell was sworn in 2010 when he became the first Republican governor in eight years.

“The sun is shining on the Republican caucus today,” he said.

 
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