State lawmakers discuss upcoming General Assembly session

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The 2019 Virginia General Assembly will convene in just a few months for its next session, and a few local lawmakers are talking about what to expect.

Since the upcoming session falls on an odd-numbered year, the session will only last 30 days.

This gives lawmakers just a limited time to get the bills the want passed through to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's desk.

Last year, several bills about the status of Confederate monuments died in committee.

Several of them were sponsored by Delegate David Toscano (D-Charlottesville) and Senator Creigh Deeds (D-Bath).

One of them would have revised a state law to allow localities to determine the fate of the statues, which Deeds said he will support if it comes up again next year.

"Localities ought to be able to decide for themselves how they're going to remember and commemorate history," said Deeds. "That doesn’t mean it changes it, because it is what it is."

"We can't change it, but we can at least change how we think about it," he added.

CBS19 also asked Delegate Steve Landes (R-Augusta) about the revenue-sharing agreement between Charlottesville and Albemarle County.

A new law signed by Northam during this year's session made some changes to the deal, which has existed since 1982.

Landes said he would know more about his plans for it after the city and county meet to discuss next year's legislative agenda.

"Albemarle and Charlottesville are supposed to be meeting, so I'm going to be looking at what the outcome of that is," said Landes. "Delegate Toscano and I are going to be talking about that, so that is something we will follow up on."

The Charlottesville City Council has also expressed interest in changing from a council-manager form of government to a mayor-council form of government, or 'strong mayor,' in which the mayor is elected by the citizens of Charlottesville instead of appointed by councilors.

The change requires an amendment to the city's charter that will have to be approved by the General Assembly.

The 2019 session begins on Jan. 9.

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