Virginia Politics: Robert F. McDonnell

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 03/03/2011

McDonnell's trip to the Sunshine State

Following Sunday's adjournment of the legislative session, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has headed to South Florida for a little R&R. McDonnell, vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association, will also spend a little time mingling with supporters of both his 2009 campaign and the RGA. On Friday, he will attend a lunch hosted by McLean attorney and McDonnell donor Kevin Fay at the famed Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables and then a dinner in Palm Beach hosted by prominent developer Eddie Garcia, according to Phil Cox, McDonnell top political adviser. Garcia, who has homes in Virginia Beach and Palm Beach, gave $25,000 to McDonnell's political action committee, Opportunity Virginia, according to the Virginia Public Access Porject, a non-partisan tracker of money in politics. On Saturday night, McDonnell will host a thank-you reception for RGA donors in the area, Cox said....

By Anita Kumar  |  10:00 AM ET, 03/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:40 PM ET, 03/01/2011

McDonnell vows to gain a seat on Metro Board despite legislature's inaction

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said he will continue to work to get a seat on the Metro Board of Directors after the General Assembly's failure to include language to that effect in the state budget that was passed unanimously Sunday night. House negotiators had tried to put a provision in the budget that would give Virginia's governor the power to appoint a board member, but their Senate counterparts balked. "I have been extremely clear with the leaders in Northern Virginia that it is absolutely wrong for Virginia to pay $50 million a year and have no seat at the table,'' McDonnell told reporters. "The federal government has two seats. Maryland has got a seat. D.C.'s got a seat. Virginia has got none ... I'm going to continue to pursue that. One way or another, we are going to have a Virginia seat on that board and I'm fully committed to...

By Anita Kumar  |  03:40 PM ET, 03/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 PM ET, 02/28/2011

McDonnell talks to Obama at the White House

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell missed a National Governors Association dinner at the White House with President Obama Sunday night because the General Assembly adjourned its annual legislative session a day late. Instead, McDonnell (R) left for Washington immediately after adjournment Sunday night in time to join other governors for a meeting with Obama at the White House Monday morning and then lunch with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). McDonnell said he expected to spend the day talking about immigration, offshore drilling, health care and budgets. "I think there are honestly some difference of opinion between Republican and Democratic governors on maybe the health care approach and so forth, but there is universal concern about unfunded federal mandates on state government,'' McDonnell told reporters before he left for Washington. "Unfunded federal mandates that undermine flexibility for governors to make individual choices for their states."...

By Anita Kumar  |  04:00 PM ET, 02/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 02/28/2011

Legislators act on thousands of bills during session

Virginia lawmakers considered 2,692 bills during their 47-day session, which ended one day late Sunday. They passed 1,599 of them and killed hundreds of others. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has 30 days from adjournment to consider most bills, though some had to be considered in just a week of being sent to him if more than seven days remained of the session. He has already signed 15 bills. Legislators will return to Richmond April 6 to act on the governor's amendments and vetoes. Check out our round-up of how major legislation fared here....

By Anita Kumar  |  11:00 AM ET, 02/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:23 PM ET, 02/27/2011

Virginia General Assembly adjourns final time

Virginia's General Assembly voted to adjourn its annual legislative session sine die Sunday evening after wrapping up business on the state's budget and Gov. Robert F. McDonnell's transportation plan. In one of its final pieces of business, the House and Senate approved a list of adjustments to the state's two-year $78 billion budget. For the first time in memory, the vote of both chambers was unanimous. "We went through the budget and made painful choices between the "got‐to‐do's" and the "nice‐to‐do's," Del. Lacey E. Putney (I-Bedford), who chairs the House appropriations committee, told lawmakers. Budget negotiators from both parties and both chambers hammered out the final details after pushing early into Sunday morning. McDonnell spoke to budget conferees several times during negotiations, and called them late Saturday when he heard some were threatening to leave town without a budget. He told them he would immediately call them back into a...

By Fredrick Kunkle  |  07:23 PM ET, 02/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)