Legislators tackle a variety of issues on "crossover day"

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It is not every day that an Oscar winner makes her way to Virginia's state capitol.

"Virginians settled Texas, so I just came back home," said Sissy Spacek star of the film "Coal Miner's Daughter".

But then again, cross-over day is not your average day.

Spacek, a Virginia resident born in Texas encouraged the passage of a tax incentive package that would encourage filmmakers to work here in the Commonwealth.

"I'm excited about these tax incentives," Spacek said.  "I want to get us on the "short list."

Meanwhile, in both the House and Senate, a bill that would create a license plate supporting abortion rights passed, despite opposition from pro-life members.

A similar plate, supporting a pro-life message was passed last year in Virginia and is currently on cars across the commonwealth.

From abortion, to another controversial issue, guns. While liberals won the license plate debate, it was conservatives that pushed through two bills related to gun rights.

"I am so proud that 46 states in the United States believe that law abiding citizens and freedom matter," said Delegate Scott Lingamfelter. He successfully argued a passage of the repeal of Governor Doug Wilder's "One gun a month" law.

Meanwhile on the senate side, the protest of democrats could not prevent the passage a bill that would allow concealed gun owners to carry their weapons in a bar or restaurant, as long as they don't drink.

"I think we are just increasing the number of guns that are out there and in our vehicles and in places where they shouldn't be," said Fairfax Senator David Marsden who was opposed to the bill.

And the debate is just beginning as these bills now move forward to the opposite houses.

The only thing that is spared by the cross-over day deadline is the budget and that may be the biggest issue at the Capitol. Governor Bob McDonnell continues to meet privately with different groups, but there is no word on when he plans to present his budget cuts.

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