Virginia lawmaker to undergo surgery

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A Virginia Republican lawmaker is set to miss a week of the legislative session for medical reasons, temporarily decreasing the already slim Republican majority in the state House. The Roanoke Times reports that Del. Terry Austin of Botetourt will be absent for at least a week for treatment related to bladder cancer. Republicans have a 51-49 majority in the House that will be at 50-49 during Austin’s absence. Austin said he rejected his Texas-based surgeon’s initial request to schedule surgery on the first day of the legislative session. Republicans needed all members present that day to ensure that a Republican was elected House speaker.

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