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Special Session Wrap-Up

Rosalind Helderman

Lawmakers had a productive day in Richmond on Wednesday, successfully coming to agreement on two bills. Identical versions of the measures have unanimously passed both the House of Delegates and the Senate. One measure is designed to address the issue that brought the General Assembly to town on a blazing hot August day, a Supreme Court decision that requires live testimony from forensic analysts in DUI and drug cases.

The bill passed by the legislature allows prosecutors to use written testimony but requires them to alert defendants in advance that they will do so, providing time for objections. The House and Senate have also passed identical bills that would provide more than $600,000 in compensation to a Hampton Roads man who spent 22 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

While in Richmond, Democratic delegates and senators also report receiving a briefing during their closed-door caucus meetings from gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds's campaign manager, Joe Abbey.

Abbey acknowledged that the campaign's internal polling matches public polling showing that Deeds is behind. But he said the polling also shows that the public has not yet tuned in to the race and that the campaign is battling a national mood making life difficult generally for Democrats. He promised that the campaign will be working to make clear the differences between Deeds and Republican Bob McDonnell, including expanding an argument that McDonnell is not the moderate he is portraying himself to be.

In a final bit of business in the House, delegates took a moment to say goodbye to three delegates who will no longer be in office when the new session opens in January. Dels. Kristen J. Amundson (D-Fairfax) and Christopher B. Saxman (R-Staunton) both recently announced that they were not running for reelection, and Del. Robert D. Hull (D-Fairfax) was defeated in the June primary.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 19, 2009; 4:59 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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