RICHMOND, Va. – It’s back to the nitty-gritty for lawmakers in Richmond on Sunday as the show must go on after the saga involving Gov. Ralph Northam and the photo on his medical school yearbook page. The talking points remain the same even as the eyes of the country watch closely.
“No, we have a job to do,” said Delegate Chris Jones, chair of the House Appropriations Committee.
“We put our budget out, we’ll have half-sheets on the members’ desk on Tuesday at 12 o’clock.”
Budget proposals are the topic and a crucial step for the commonwealth.
Delegate Scott Garrett, who serves the Lynchburg-Bedford area, wants Northam out, but he said the issues before Friday are still the issues now.
“They seem somewhat sterile in the light of all the emotional issues that are going on, but they frankly are the work that we are about,” Garrett said.
Virtually every Democrat is in agreement, including Delegate Luke Torian, of Prince William County, that Northam must step down. He and other members of the Black Legislative Caucus were unswayed by Northam’s explanation.
“I certainly hope he will (resign),” Torian said. “I’m not sure but I certainly hope that he will. His story is just really inconsistent and because of the inconsistency, we find it difficult for him to continue to lead the commonwealth.”
In the hours after Saturday’s press conference, the calls for Northam to resign only intensified, and the executive mansion was quiet on Sunday. As the hours count down on his survival, lawmakers in Richmond are keeping the most important topics in the forefront.
“I think as long as we stay focused on that, Virginia will win, and Virginians will win,” Garrett said. “Obviously, there are distractions that come up from time to time, and we deal with those.”
Some on social media have been asking about possible impeachment, but it doesn’t seem like that’s a serious option quite yet.
Lawmakers are pleased with their balanced budget proposal. One highlight from Sunday was $1.5 million allocated for work at the City of Lynchburg's College Lake Dam, which had issues over the summer.