The final, frenetic, pre-crossover week began inauspiciously on Sunday. The failure of an internet circuit in the Capitol area took down legislative websites and sparked fears of a return to the dark ages of the General Assembly: paper copies of everything. Fortunately, the system was restored in time for a busy week.
Monday brought rain and a fire alarm in the Capitol as committees rushed to complete their work on all bills with a fiscal impact on the Commonwealth. Fiscal impact statements are provided for each bill that comes with a potential price tag for Virginia. House bills requiring funding are ultimately sent to the Appropriations Committee, where they typically fare poorly unless they are funded in the budget or via a budget amendment. The deadline for bills to be referred to Appropriations was Wednesday, which made for a busy early week.
Friday marked a long floor session that culminated in wrangling over the (typically routine) confirmation of the outgoing governor’s appointees to boards and commissions. After six hours on the floor, certain appointees were approved. Afterward, the unfortunate members of the House Courts Committee headed to an evening meeting.