General Assembly resumes Wednesday - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

General Assembly resumes Wednesday

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The General Assembly starts back Wednesday afternoon — and lawmakers have some big topics to resolve.

Now that Republicans have the pull in both the Senate and the House, we know some big topics are on their agenda.

Over the past five years, public universities have seen $300 million cut in funding — about 20 percent.

But the governor says he wants to increase their funding by about seven percent.

We could also see more financial aid for students.

Other issues on the table include more money for the state retirement system and the state's overall budget as a whole.

Another issue is EpiPen.

Lawmakers got lots of calls from concerned parents after Amarria Johnson died of a peanut allergy at a Chesterfield elementary school, so some of them are trying to do something about it.

They say if an EpiPen had been there to counteract the allergic reaction, the outcome may have been different.

In order to prevent this from happening to any other students, delegates will have a chance to discuss this need this month.

Two delegates are now heading up an action to have EpiPens available in schools for food-allergy emergencies.

They drafted the emergency legislation after Johnson's death right after Christmas.

"This is a great example of how everybody wants the right thing done but schools have rules they have to follow," said Del. John O'Bannon (R). "I think it's our job to listen to everybody, to get some legislation passed to keep this from happening again."

State leaders are also trying to push similar legislation through to congress.

They say a draft version should be completed by the end of this week.

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