Which Party Will Control The Virginia State Senate? (WAMU)

WAMUWhich Party Will Control The Virginia State Senate?

WAMU-FM, December 2, 2013

Which party will control the Virginia state Senate? That’s an open question in Virginia, as Republicans and Democrats struggle with for dominance in a chamber currently divided between 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans.

But with Sen. Ralph Northam (D-Norfolk) elected as Virginia’s next lieutenant governor, and the apparent victory of Sen. Mark Herring (D-Loudoun) in the race for attorney general, two Democratic seats will be up in the air…

Ultimately, though, Republicans created a leadership structure for the duration of the Senate term that will require a two-thirds majority to change.

“[Democrats] would be able to block anything that committees that are organized and led by Republicans might bring to the floor,” says Stephen Farnsworth, a professor at the University of Mary Washington. “But they will have less control over setting the agenda than a majority usually would.”

The requirement of a two-thirds majority dates back to 1996, the last time the body was split between 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans.

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