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Va. lawmakers end annual session with increased spending on schools, health care

"They've said, 'Don't increase spending. Don't increase taxes,'" said Del. Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax). "I think that has really influenced the overall debate."

But a number of tea party-supported measures that emerged from the House were rejected by the Senate.

They included a call for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to allow federal laws to be overturned by two-thirds of state legislatures and a bill to prohibit Washington from regulating goods manufactured and sold in Virginia.

Democratic Sen. A. Donald McEachin (D-Richmond) termed it the "nullification agenda" and said he thought voters would credit his party with killing it.

In coming weeks, McDonnell will have to sign, veto or amend all of the nearly 1,600 bills adopted by the legislature. He will face pressure to veto some bills, notably the autism and physical education measures, as some conservatives urge him to reject a new mandate on private insurers and school officials argue that they don't have the money to pay new gym teachers.

The Virginia General Assembly holds one of the shortest state legislative sessions in the country. But having completed this year's 6 1/2-week-long sprint, the legislature will take a brief break.

Just after the House and Senate gaveled to a close Sunday night, each chamber immediately opened a new special session to deal with drawing new legislative maps in response to the 2010 Census numbers delivered in early February.

They immediately recessed their new term but agreed they will return to Richmond April 4 to take up their political tussle anew.

Staff writer Anita Kumar contributed to this report.

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