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Va. House cancels Friday session because of snow

For the first time in memory, Virginia's House of Delegates has cancelled all meetings during its regular session because of extraordinary circumstances or inclement weather.

Members of the Senate are not so sure they want to go along. Some have told House delegates that the decision not to reconvene until Monday could even violate the state constitution.

House Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem) announced today at the beginning of the regular session that the House would not convene Friday even in a pro forma session because of the looming snowstorm. Griffith said that's because a pro forma session would require sergeants at arms and clerks to be in the Capitol while representatives could stay away.

Staffers in the House clerk's office--which also assumes responsibility for overseeing the administrative affairs of the entire General Assembly when the bodies are in joint session - said they could not recall the last time the General Assembly interrupted its session after convening for extraordinary circumstances.

Under the rules of the legislative body, no votes are held and no legislative business is conducted in a pro forma session. But they are held for the purposes of meeting a state constitutional requirement that prohibits either the Senate or the House from adjourning to another place or for more than three days without obtaining the consent of the other.

Griffith said so long as the House reconvenes before 1:30 p.m. Monday, they will have met within three days. Some state senators, however, are counting the time differently, arguing that the House will be out of session for more than three days on Sunday.

-- Fredrick Kunkle

By Anne Bartlett  |  February 4, 2010; 1:27 PM ET
Categories:  Fredrick Kunkle , General Assembly 2010  
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Next: Historical precedents few for Virginia General Assembly snow cancellations


When they do meet again, I would suggest they pass a bill to require Al Gore to write a check for whatever funds are needed to buy snow cleaning equipment necessary to keep the Commonwealth of Virginia including its legislature, schools and businesses operating without interruption. All in favor say Ay!

Posted by: voiceinthedesert1 | February 8, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

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