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PHOTOS: The 2013 Virginia General Assembly Convenes in Richmond

Lawmakers gather at Capitol.

RICHMOND — The Virginia General Assembly convened Wednesday for its 2013 session, which likely will feature lots of hot-button issues — transportation, school security, gun laws and uranium mining, among them.

As lawmakers arrived, several hundred demonstrators on both sides of the abortion debate protested outside of the Capitol.

According to Richmond Sunlight, the 100 members of the House of Delegates have filed 1,153 bills and the 40 members of the Senate have filed 597. The 140 elected representatives are from an equal number of constituent districts across the commonwealth.

The House of Delegates is presided over by Speaker Bill Howell. The Senate is presided over by Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling.

The Republican Party currently holds the majority in the House of Delegates, and exactly 50 percent of the Senate. The breaking of tie votes falls to the lieutenant governor.

Virginia's General Assembly is the oldest legislative body in the Western hemisphere, founded July 30, 1619, in Jamestown as the House of Burgesses.

Useful Links:

2013 Session Meeting Schedule

Virginia Senate Live Session Video Stream

Virginia House of Delegates Live Session Video Stream

Virginia Assembly on Facebook

(Editor Susan Larson contributed to this story.)

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