The Virginia General Assembly convened Wednesday for its 2013 session at the state Capitol in Richmond with lots of hot-button issues before them such as transportation, school security, gun laws and uranium mining.
As they arrived today, lawmakers likely saw several hundred protesting demonstrators on both sides of the abortion debate demonstrating 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 the Speaker of the House.
The Senate is presided over by the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, currently 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.
(Editor Susan Larson contributed to this story.)