RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Governor Bob McDonnell made a plea to his fellow lawmakers during his State Of The Commonwealth address: let's find a way to work together.
His speech did not break much news Wednesday night. Instead he used the address to re-iterate his plans for 2011 and challenge the members of the General Assembly to find common ground to make those ideas a reality.
Evoking strong language, the Governor used the tragedy in Tucson as a launching pad for his challenge to the General Assembly.
"Ideas conquer violence," he said. "Courage is stronger than fear."
Addressing his prized legislative priorities McDonnell talked about higher education by saying, "I will not tolerate a system that prices our young people out of their futures."
On transportation he remarked that "Our failure to address our growing transportation needs is a bipartisan one."
Finally he grouped in economic development as a common problem everyone wants to see fixed.
"We have a common obligation to make this a better and more prosperous Commonwealth," McDonnell said. "And that opportunity is now."
Both republicans and democrats agreed working together sounds like a good idea, but isn't always that easy.
"These aren't partisan issues," said republican Lt. Governor Bill Bolling. "There are a lot of issues around here that get political. These things should not get political."
Democratic Delegate Joe Morrissey of Henrico said there are many places both sides can work together.
"We are open to working with the Governor," he said. "(but) It has to be a two way street, and if we get that two way street than we will make progress in Virginia."
Perhaps not an easy proposition, but something the Governor seems willing to put his legacy on the line for. He concluded his remarks by saying.
"Let's lend all our efforts to making this a true 'Commonwealth of Opportunity' for all Virginians.
One thing the Governor did not focus much on tonight? His plan to privatize the state ABC stores. In fact he mentioned only once and only about 20 seconds of his 45 minute speech. Perhaps an indication of how it has slipped in his list of priorities.
You can see more about the Governor's speech on our political blog, DecisionVirginia.com.