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First Click - Virginia

Sandhya Somashekhar

Good morning Virginia, here's what's happening in politics around the state today.

The big news was yesterday's special legislative session in Richmond. The General Assembly yesterday voted to change a law governing breath tests in drunk driving cases in a mad dash to accommodate a recent Supreme Court ruling that would have made prosecutions in those cases more difficult.

Lawmakers also received a grim update on the budget. Gov. Kaine announced a $1.5 billion shortfall that will require significant cuts, which he'll announce in early September. They also decided to compensate a Norfolk man wrongly convicted of rape with a $633,000 settlement.

With the special session over, both men vying for Virginia governor turn their attention back to the campaign. Democrat R. Creigh Deeds, a state senator, participated in yesterday's session. He tries to give a boost to his campaign by spending the day in the Democratic-leaning Washington suburbs, where he will make a major campaign speech tomorrow.

Republican Robert F. McDonnell, the former attorney general who stepped down to focus on the campaign, kept it low-key yesterday as well but began his day at 5:30 this morning meeting workers at the Newport News Shipyard.

Virginia Tech yesterday released the missing mental health records of Seung Hui Cho, which an administrator had accidentally taken home, and they show that the student had repeatedly, unsuccessfully sought treatment at the university counseling center before he killed 32 people and himself in 2006.

Arlington throws another wrench into the second phase of the HOT Lanes project, which the state has delayed over worries about the bond market.

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  August 20, 2009; 7:58 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , First Click , General Assembly 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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