Virginia lawmakers wrap up session focused on budget

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia state employees will be getting raises, some of them quite hefty, under a budget plan headed to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s desk. The GOP-controlled General Assembly on Saturday passed a state spending plan that includes significant pay increases for state police and other law enforcement officers, as well as a 3 percent across-the-board raises for state employees and the state’s share of a 2 percent raises for teachers. Virginia lawmakers finished their work this weekend for the 2017 legislative session, a six week sprint that saw bipartisan cooperation on some issues like treating opioid addiction, but plenty of squabbles on social issues like abortion and gun issues. ¬†Lawmakers also moved quickly to do Virginia’s part in establishing an independent oversight authority for the beleaguered Washington-area Metro system. They also grappled with how best to dispose of the leftover waste product that comes from burning coal.