Ghost CapitolFeb 04, 2010
They're heading out faster than John Dillinger after a bank heist. The cops aren't chasing, but all 139 Virginia lawmakers (one House seat currently is vacant) are running from the forecast snow and ice. Come to think of it, with the amount of spending some of these guys do, maybe a good old-fashioned posse wouldn't be a bad idea for the tax hikers and big spenders. Every year we see more history unfold in the Western Hemisphere's old legislative body. But today was history of a different sort — late today the House and Senate each announced the cancellation of their legislative calendars. Word around the GAB, including in the luxury suites of the 6th floor (offices of the leadership of both parties of both chambers) was that this is a first. But no one was complaining. An impromptu (and much needed) long weekend.
However, there are the diehards. After all, it's not getting to and from capitol square that's the problem. Most take places not far away for the 60 days. The problem is getting back to Richmond after leaving. Solution? Don't go home. But go they will and session may now go 61 days — and this doesn't include any overtime for the budget.
Combined with last Friday's early get away, things are stacking up. Committee meeting cancellations last week meant doubled up meetings this week. Dockets were as thick as a Washington kiss-and-tell book. More time to waste sitting in committee wondering when your bill will come up.
Will the backlog add to the intrigue? Probably. Because there's always something going on here. Except this Friday.