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Virginia Beach delegates hopeful state investigation into the mass shooting will still happen

'You can't meet with the victims and not be moved. I think there is a sense that this needs to happen.'

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A push for a state-run investigation into the Virginia Beach mass shooting has hit a roadblock, of sorts. 

"I'll go up there and camp out if I have to,” Jason Nixon said. “I will do whatever I have to do."  

Almost two weeks ago, the House Rules Committee unanimously passed a proposal to investigate the Virginia Beach shooting, again. It was a step in the right direction for families left with questions.

But now, that same bill has died in the House Appropriations Committee. It never got a discussion there, let alone vote.

Jason Nixon, husband of Kate Nixon, who died in the shooting is puzzled.

“It didn't even get on the docket,” Nixon said. “People are just scratching their heads going, 'Who is behind this?'"

Appropriations Committee Chair Delegate Luke Torian said he strongly supports the bill. Speaker of the House Eileen Filler-Corn's Office said the bill will likely be included in the budget bill, instead.

"There is a term of art here in the Capitol called 'legislating through the budget,'” said Delegate Jason Miyares. “It is not preferred, it does happen."

Del. Miyares and Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler are both sponsors of the bill. Miyares isn't sure what happened in appropriations, but said the bill is still alive with language in the budget.

"My hope is that the language of the legislation will be in the state budget that gets passed later this session,” Miyares said.

He said he is fairly confident the state investigation will happen.

"I think so many legislators here have met with the victims,” Miyares said. “You can't meet with the victims and not be moved. I think there is a sense that this needs to happen."

Nixon has been to the Capitol twice this session, pushing this investigation. He believes lawmakers will make the right call.

"They really care,” Nixon said. They are all watching this. It is on their radar."

Lawmakers are set to finish the budget on February 20.

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