At the time of this writing, it is Friday. But in Virginia’s General Assembly, lawmakers are operating under the premise that it is still Thursday.
The procedural maneuver is intended to give Democratic majorities more time to hash out deals on big outstanding legislative debates on topics ranging from redistricting to the minimum wage. The legislative session is scheduled to end on Saturday, but can be (and often is) extended.
Lawmakers in the House and Senate managed to bend legislative time by simply not adjourning on Thursday evening and instead taking a prolonged, overnight recess that allowed them to resume Thursday’s legislative day on Friday morning.
Not long after noon, House Minority Leader Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, inquired of Democratic leaders when his caucus could expect Friday to begin.
Democratic Majority Leader Charniele Herring, D-Alexandria, responded that she couldn’t say for sure, but perhaps later in the afternoon.
Having breakfast while it’s still “Thursday” in the Virginia Senate as Thursday’s legislative deadlines are evaded. Hopefully it will be “Friday” by afternoon. pic.twitter.com/ACsyN9YWpk
— David Suetterlein (@DRSuetterlein) March 6, 2020
Word is Friday might happen sometime this afternoon. Too early to say at this juncture https://t.co/NVe3cCT0v4
— Graham Moomaw (@gmoomaw) March 6, 2020
For the rest of the world it's Friday.
But here in Virginia lawmakers are bending the space time continuum and insisting it's still Thursday so that they can cram in last minute legislating.
Story for after session: Why do we have a part time legislature?
— Mallory Noe-Payne (@MalloryNoePayne) March 6, 2020
Del. Matt Fariss just gave a floor speech about his son's dog catching skunks. The dog tethering bill passes. It's still Thursday. https://t.co/lQ2pfxV9zZ
— Justin Mattingly (@jmattingly306) March 6, 2020
In the Senate, Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax, began the afternoon session at 1:30 p.m. by inquiring, “Is today still yesterday?”
Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax confirmed, “Yes, it is.”