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RICHMOND (AP) -- Legislators arrived in Richmond Wednesday for a legislative session that will features debates on education, transportation, guns and uranium mining.

Those are just a few of the prominent issues on the agenda for the 2013 General Assembly, which convened at noon Wednesday. Gov. Bob McDonnell will deliver his final State of the Commonwealth address Wednesday night.

Lawmakers will consider the Republican governor's plans to boost funding for transportation and give teachers more money but less protection against being fired. Guns are expected to be a big issue in the aftermath of last month's Connecticut school shooting. Legislators also will weigh a hotly contested proposal to lift the state's ban on uranium mining.

The assembly won't adopt a new two-year budget until 2014, but it will make adjustments to the current one.

House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) urged lawmakers to have a renewed focus on the core issues affecting Virginia.

'The most important among them is creating good jobs and growing our economy. This is and will continue to be the top focus of the House of Delegates this year. Transportation, education and public safety are just a few more of the many important issues we will work on this year,' he said.

You can track legislation during the session on the Virginia General Assembly Website.

AP-WF-01-09-13 0811GMT

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