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Abstract

In most every General Assembly session, there are those bills that while on the surface appear fairly innocuous-quickly take on a life of their own, generating an audible buzz in and around the General Assembly Building. The 2010 Virginia General Assembly session was no different. Amidst hallway discussions concerning the budget, gun rights, and abortion, one could also hear the distinct murmur of a completely novel topic: Lyme disease. Often associated with a small, pesky insect known as the black-legged tick, until this year, Lyme disease had not been the subject of any controversial legislation proposed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, until this year. In 2010, five separate bills pertaining to Lyme disease were proposed, primarily by elected representatives from the Northern Virginia area, allowing the unwelcome summer guest to achieve a newfound level of notoriety. And one thing remains sure: the tick's recent rise to fame will not be short-lived; Lyme disease will continue to be a contested issue in the legislative sessions ahead.