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Lewis addresses pending legislative issues at town hall in Mathews

A friendly crowd packed into the historic courthouse in Mathews on Jan. 12 for a town hall meeting that gave residents a chance to discuss the 2015 legislative session with State Sen. Lynwood Lewis (D-Accomac).

After a brief run-through of his background, including his upbringing on the Eastern Shore, his long interest in public office, and his profession as an attorney, Lewis jumped right into issues facing the General Assembly this year. Because it’s not a budget year, he said, the legislative session is shortened to just six weeks, but there are 2,500 pieces of legislation to consider and a lot of work to do.

Lewis said that in December Gov. Terry McAuliffe offered a budget amendment to deal with a projected shortfall, but positive revenue collections since then might lessen the impact. Nevertheless, he said, strategic decisions will have to be made.

The legislature made $1.6 billion of budget cuts last year in a bipartisan fashion while protecting education from additional...

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