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Earlier today EMILY's List announced its finalists for the Gabby Giffords Rising Star award, which celebrates an extraordinary woman serving in state or local office. I am incredibly honored to be one of the six women nominated nationwide!

The 2017 General Assembly Session adjourned sine die on February 25th after completing work on thousands of bills and resolutions and closing a $1.26 billion shortfall in the budget. The adopted $107 million budget avoids cuts to K-12 education, restores pay raises to state employees, provides the state share of a raise to teachers, provides assistance to school divisions like Charles City County that have experienced at least a 5% decline in enrollment, and invests in mental health reform, while creating a $35 million cash reserve for future shortfalls.

 

The 2017 General Assembly Session adjourned sine die on February 25th after completing work on thousands of bills and resolutions and closing a $1.26 billion shortfall in the budget. The adopted $107 million budget avoids cuts to K-12 education, restores pay raises to state employees, provides the state share of a raise to teachers, provides assistance to school divisions like Charles City County that have experienced at least a 5% decline in enrollment, and invests in mental health reform, while creating a $35 million cash reserve for future shortfalls.

 
The General Assembly adjourned sine die on February 25th, completing work on thousands of bills and closing a $1.26 billion shortfall. 

The $107 million budget adopted by the General Assembly that avoids cuts to K-12 education, restores pay raises to state employees, provides the state share of a raise to teachers, and invests in mental health reform, while creating a $35 million cash reserve to be used to close future shortfalls.  

You can read an overview of the budget conference report prepared by the Senate Finance Committee here, and one prepared by the House Appropriations Committee here. Specific budget amendments adopted by the final budget conference report can be found here

The General Assembly also passed over 800 other bills than now await the Governor's action.  The Richmond Times Dispatch provided an overview of 25 of the most significant bills that passed, which you can read here.  The Governor has until March 27th to amend or veto any bills. We will return April 5th for Veto Session to vote on his actions. 

The 2017 General Assembly Session adjourned sine die Saturday, February 25th after completing work on thousands of bills and resolutions and closing a $1.26 billion shortfall in the budget. The $107 million budget adopted by the General Assembly avoids cuts to K-12 education, restores pay raises to state employees, provides the state share of a raise to teachers, and invests in mental health reform, while creating a $35 million cash reserve to be used to close future shortfalls.
Three of my bills passed the General Assembly and now await action by the Governor.

We’re in the final days of the 2017 Session, and are scheduled to adjourn Saturday, if not sooner. A number of controversial bills have already been vetoed by the Governor this week.  First, HB 1582 (Campbell) would have expanded eligibility for concealed handgun permits for individuals 18 years or older an on active military duty or have been honorably discharged from service. The Governor vetoed this bill because weapons training provided as a component of an individual’s military basic training does not qualify that individual to carry weapons after service.  Under the bill, an individual who completed basic training but was subsequently disqualified from having access to weapons could apply for a concealed handgun permit.

We are now in the final week of the 2017 Session. We still have quite a bit of work to do, as a number of bills, including the budget, are in conference committees to work out differences between the House and Senate versions. Last week the Senate passed a number of controversial bills.

Last week the House and Senate adopted amendments to the 2016-2018 budget to address a projected $279.3 million revenue shortfall. The Senate budget reflects its top priorities of supporting mental health programs, avoiding spending cuts for public education and safety net programs, and providing an overdue pay raise for all state employees and teachers.  Specifically, the Senate budget proposes a 3 percent raise for state classified employees, a 2 percent raise for college and university faculty, the state share of a 2 percent raise for public school teachers, and a 2 percent raise for state-supported local employees.  Instead of providing a raise for teachers, the House budget increases funding for school divisions, which may use the money for raises or for other priorities. 

 

Last week, the General Assembly reached "Crossover," the mid-point of Session when the House and Senate must complete work on their own bills. Many of the bills my constituents have written or called me about were addressed prior to crossover and summarized in prior updates. Here is an overview of other bills acted upon last week.

Tomorrow marks the half-way point of the 2017 General Assembly Session, known as "Crossover," when the House and Senate must complete work on their own bills.  Over the next two days we will debate and vote on hundreds of bills on the Senate floor covering a wide variety of topics such as immigration, voting rights, school discipline, student loans, Airbnb, the regulation of property carriers, and public procurement.  My Op-Ed in yesterday's Richmond Times Dispatch discussed some of the school discipline bills we will address.
 
You can watch the Senate floor sessions live or find archived video from earlier floor sessions here
 
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