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Lawmakers reach halfway point of legislative session

House speaker, Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, presides over the House session at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. The House completed it’s business for crossover. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Lawmakers have reached the halfway point of this year’s legislative session with some of their biggest issues still unsettled.

Tuesday is the deadline for all legislation, except for budget bills, to pass in the chambers where they originated.

It’s unclear whether the GOP-controlled General Assembly will act to expand Medicaid, a top priority of Gov. Ralph Northam. Most observers expect the state budget will be the mechanism for any expansion.

Budget negotiations are still in the early stages, and one of the year’s most contentious issues, a major rewrite of Virginia’s oversight of electric monopolies, has passed each chamber in different forms, which will have to be reconciled.

Hundreds more bills have already died.

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