BY ALAN SUDERMAN, Associated Press
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Democrats in Virginia are looking to advance a history-making agenda when the General Assembly convenes Wednesday that could change how Virginians vote, the type of guns they can buy and the crimes for which they can be jailed.
Quick action is expected on a number of high-profile issues that Republicans have thwarted for years in what could be the one of the most sweeping legislative sessions in decades.
“This is a new year in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and a lot of these things that we’ve been talking about for years are now going to become a reality,” Gov. Ralph Northam said Friday in announcing plans for a major overhaul of the state’s criminal justice system that includes decriminalizing marijuana.
On Monday, Northam announced his backing of legislation to allow no-excuse absentee voting and to make Election Day a state holiday. As part of the plan the state would scrap Lee Jackson Day, a day honoring Confederate generals.