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Virginia General Assembly Opens With High Hopes For Republican Bills

Shift in power could be bad for Northern Virginia, especially education funding.

(WUSA) -- The Virginia General Assembly kicked off is 2012 session with high hopes for legislation supported by Republicans. For only the second time since the Civil War, Republicans control both the General Assembly and the Governor's mansion. That change in balance could hurt Northern Virginia, especially in education funding.

"The Governor's trying to siphon off money from schools. People who care about education have a real problem with that," said Delegate David Englin (D-Arlington, Fairfax.)

"Unfortunately, the Governor is trying to make cuts to pre-K. That's our future. We need to put it back," said Del. Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria.)

Delegate Ken Plum from Fairfax County called the money for schools in the Governor's budget "a pittance."

Even Springfield Republican Dave Albo is critical of the Governor's plan to remove funds Northern Virginia schools use to pay teachers a competitive wage.

"There is an effort in Governor's budget to take out the cost of competing. It costs tons more to live in Fairfax than Galax. If we cut out the cut out the cost of those bonuses, we're going to have to fight that tooth and nail," said Albo.

However, Fairfax Republican Tim Hugo supports the governor's proposals on transportation and education.

"We're putting money into K-12. Transportation is a core functioni a core function of government," said Hugo.

The Governor is expected to make a secondary proposal on transportation funding. And, concerning Phase II of the Dulles Rail Project, at least on Republican is taking aim at its builder, MWAA, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and its Project Labor Agreement.

Senator Dick Black (R-Loudoun) says he's proposing a bill that would make MWAA more transparent to see what it spends its money on. He said that if the state is sending $150 million dollars to the project, it should know where the money is going. He also wants the state to audit the project.

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