RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ On the evening of Jan. 11, with the 2012 General Assembly just seven hours old, Gov. Bob McDonnell advised his newly empowered Republican legislative allies “don’t overreach.”
And to Democrats, frozen totally out of power in state government for the first time in 10 years, he counseled, “don’t obstruct.”
Sixty-one days later, the results are clear: so much for good advice.
Republicans introduced bills social conservatives unsuccessfully sought for years. New GOP House and Senate majorities passed many as they could. Anti-abortion bills drew protests and arrests at the Capitol and ridicule from television comedians.
Out-of-power Democrats, in turn, blocked passage of a new state budget in the Senate, demanding GOP concessions in return for the one additional vote needed in the 40-member Senate to pass an appropriations bill.