Assembly action on Internet

When the General Assembly convenes in Richmond at noon Wednesday for its 45-day session, you won’:t be able to watch it live, but much of the action can be followed on the Internet.

“I just had someone the other day who said, ‘:I didn’:t realize how much information you had up there,’: ” said Prince William Delegate Michele B. McQuigg, R-51st District, who has a tutorial on tracking bills on her Web site,

The legislature’:s Web site shows bills and their text, where they are in committee or if they are up for vote by the full House or Senate. The sites for the General Assembly and bill tracking are and The governor, who has influence over bills with veto power, has a Web site at

Last year, the General Assembly considered bills to broadcast its full meetings, but the House rejected that move on the grounds that it would promote grandstanding, and also the public is unfamiliar with the processes of the legislature and could misinterpret actions, opponents said. The Senate approved making telecasts available at no cost to the state, but its Rules Committee has not approved any broadcasts, cable or Internet for the current session.

The sessions are broadcasted throughout the Capitol buildings on TVs and computers for legislators, staff and media.

The public is also invited to visit Richmond during the session, but should be aware that security is still stepped up since Sept. 11, 2001, with metal detectors at entrances. Committee meetings and the full House and Senate meetings are open to the public.

“People are welcome. It’:s very hard to actually get to see the delegates sometimes,” McQuigg said.

Legislative assistants are always there to take comments and pass them on, McQuigg said. For those without Internet access, a hotline at (800) 889-0229 allows constituents to call with comments that are sent to the intended recipient, she said.

McQuigg said: “If they want to see what it actually says … they want to know how to go after the real information … It’:s on my home page.”

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