2018 General Assembly session kicks off with new faces

2018 General Assembly session kicks off with new faces

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT/AP) - The 2018 General Assembly session kicked off in Richmond on Wednesday with numerous new faces after November's election.

Democrats picked up 15 seats in November, narrowing the gap to 51-49. That slight edge to Republicans came on Wednesday after Democrat Shelly Simonds conceded to Republican David Yancey in the 94th House District.

Republican Delegate Kirk Cox was elected as Speaker of the House.

Lawmakers will be tasked with passing the state budget and will also debate a host of other issues. Hundreds of bills have already been filed, covering issues including taxes, transportation, education and criminal justice reform.

The first day of the new 60-day session will end with Gov. Terry McAuliffe delivering his final State of the Commonwealth address at 7 p.m.

Democrat Ralph Northam will be sworn in as the next governor on Saturday.

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