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Virginia reshaped as Democrats put historic stamp on laws

Decriminalizing marijuana. Universal background checks on gun purchases. Legalizing casino gambling. These are just some of the bills that have been passed.

RICHMOND, Va. — Democratic legislators in Virginia have dramatically reshaped the state in two months, sweeping aside many of the state’s old business-friendly and socially conservative laws and replacing them with a broad, progressive policy agenda. 

Lawmakers wrapped up this year's legislative session Sunday after advancing the South's strictest gun laws, broadest LGBTQ protections and some of its loosest abortion restrictions. 

Democrats had not had full control of the legislature for more than two decades, and their years of pent up frustrations and put-off priorities produced one of the most historic sessions in the state's history. 

Many Republicans said Democrats had advanced a liberal agenda beyond what the average Virginian supports while trampling on the state's pro-business reputation. 

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