Virginia Lawmakers Prepare to Tackle Education, Uranium Mining, Education

Richmond, VA - The Virginia General Assembly convenes this Wednesday, and many are wondering what this session will produce.

Many lawmakers are saying that the big issues this time around will be jobs, transportation, education, and the ban on uranium mining.

Governor McDonnell will present a Transportation Package, which most anticipate will not include any increases to the gas tax.

The governor also recently proclaimed 2013 "The Year of the Teacher", meaning we can expect big news on the education front.

Local Republican Senator Steve Newman weighed in on the issue Sunday.

"I think the Governor really has a dedication to high quality. And while he is planning on having a pay increase for teachers, the first since 2007, he's also going to demand more on the quality side and he is going to have a revision on some of the tenure aspects," Newman said.

Another bill sure to make headlines this year is a bill proposed by Republican Delegate Ben Cline.

The bill would make using a handheld communications device, (such as a cell phone), while driving, a reckless driving offense and a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Currently texting-while-driving only carries a $20 fine and can only be punished as a secondary offense.

Senator Newman agrees something must be done.

"Clearly texting is such a dangerous item, not just for children but everyone while driving, that I plan to support that measure," Newman says.

According to numerous lawmakers, social issues aren't expected to play much of a role this year.

For more information on the upcoming session, click here.