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Morning Read: Virginia Senate to Vote on Budget, Ultrasound Funding Still in Dispute

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    NEWSLETTERS

    * The Virginia Senate is expected to vote on the budget today.

    The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that senators received copies of the amended budget over the weekend that was unanimously approved by the Senate Finance Committee last week.

    Partisan debates are still expected to occur over a $3 million Democratic floor amendment to have the state or private insurers cover the costs for a new law requiring ultrasounds for women getting an abortion.

    The House has already approved its version of the two-year, $85 billion budget. Once the Senate passes its budget, the two chambers will have to reconcile the differences between their two spending plans.

    * While the highly anticipated Virginia Senate race has largely been framed as a head-to-head battle between two former governors, it looks like Republican George Allen will need to beat three other candidates in a GOP primary before he even faces Democrat Tim Kaine.

    Allen and Chesterfield County tea-party activist Jamie Radtke have submitted petition signatures to be on the ballot.

    According to the RTD, Del. Robert G. Marshall, Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson, and Hampton Roads attorney David McCormick are expected to follow suit in the coming days.

    Tim Kaine is not expected to have any competition in the Democratic primary.

    Political strategist Bob Holsworth told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that all these competitors can be looked at as both a good and bad thing for Allen.

    The bad thing, he said, is that Allen will have to spend campaign money to beat people within his own party.

    And the good thing is that since there are three competitors, the anti-Allen votes will likely be split among three people.

    * Hundreds of people gathered on Pennsylvania Avenue and Freedom Plaza on Saturday to protest the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

    Martin was shot while he went to purchase a pack of Skittles and iced tea near his family's home.

    His killer has claimed self-defense against the unarmed teenager and has not been arrested, causing public outrage from people and media outlets around the country who say this is a racially motivated crime that needs its day in court.

    According to The Huffington Post, many protesters came with Skittles and ice tea and wore hoodies in solidarity with Martin. Martin was wearing a hoodie when he was killed.

    * The first negative ad in the congressional race for Maryland’s 6th District has aired and features Democratic candidate John Delaney’s camp accusing state Sen. Rob Garagiola of not being a trustworthy person because he failed to disclose $200,000 in income as a lobbyist from 2001-2003.

    Watch the ad here:

    * On Saturday night Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling declared that he is a more electable gubernatorial candidate than Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

    The News Virginia reports that before delivering the keynote address at the Virginia State Police Association’s 28th Annual Conference, Bolling said that qualification, leadership style and electability are the three qualities that separate him from Cuccinelli.

    The two are battling for the GOP nomination.

    Bolling cited his experience as a two-time lieutenant governor and said he is likely to appeal to more voters than Cuccinelli, who is known for what many consider to be ultraconservative stances.

    * Arlington County will have a special election Tuesday to replace former Arlington County board member Barbara Favola.

    Democrat Libby Garvey, an Arlington school board member; Republic Mark Kelly, a Capitol Hill staffer; and Audrey Clement, a Green Party leader are all vying for the seat, according to The Washington Examiner.

    Polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday and close at 7 p.m. Voters with questions about their polling places can visit arlingtonva.us or call 703-228-3456 for information.

    * Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley traveled to Connecticut Friday to fundraise for an expected referendum on the same-sex marriage bill he signed into law this month, according to The Washington Post.

    O’Malley was in the New England state to deliver the keynote address at a Connecticut Democratic Party dinner. Before the dinner, he attended a reception to raise money for Marylanders for Marriage Equality.

    * Ward 5 Heartbeat has a good primer on the candidates running to replace Harry Thomas’ Jr.’s vacated council seat.

    Although 13 people are running for the seat, the news website reports that a three-way race is emerging between Delano Hunter, Kenyan McDuffie and Frank Wilds.

    Read more here.