RICHMOND, Va. -- As the General Assembly opened the 2023 session and Governor Glenn Youngkin laid out his priorities in his “State of the Commonwealth” address, voters told CBS 6 they have hopes for what might come of it all.
“Budget-wise I think we’re pretty efficient,” said Rayford Harris, Jr. “I’d like to also see maybe some revenue, some tax excesses go back to the citizens and go from there.”
“I’m a gun owner, I believe in gun rights, but I also have, background checks still need to be done,” said Ed Parks. “And we also need to keep these guns out of people’s hands, particularly infants. A six-year-old is an infant. And I mean this is ridiculous.”
“What would be an issue for me is that I do not think that there should be a ban on when you can have an abortion,” said Helen Scarlett.
Because the legislature is split, political experts say not much dramatic change is to be expected. Additionally, all 140 members of the House of Delegates and the Senate are up for election in November.
“At the end of the day, I don’t see much progress on whether you want to call it gun safety or 2nd Amendment rights, you’re going to find both parties dug in,” said CBS 6 political analyst Bob Holsworth. “Particularly with an election year coming up, I don’t think this is the time that you’re going to see a lot of impetus toward compromise.”
The stakes are high.
“If Governor Youngkin, for example, is able to keep the House Republican, but change the Senate to Republican as well, that’s going to be one big feather in his cap as he considers a potential run for the presidency,” Holsworth added.
Despite that ongoing battle, many voters say they’re still hoping for a little cooperation between the two parties.
“It’s time to start working for the people instead of having all the little conflicts between them,” said Gail Lipscomb.
“I like to see them work together, a lot more, with more transparency in what both parties are doing,” said Parks. “Because I think we can come together in a way that we can vote on things on a bipartisan basis.”