2018 General Assembly Session Special Session Edition

On Saturday, March 10th, the 2018 General Assembly Session adjourned sine die after passing over 800 bills. You can read a summary of some of the major legislation considered here. 

Unfortunately, we did not pass a budget for the 2018-2020 biennium, which begins July 1, 2018. As reported previously, the House and Senate versions are approximately $600 million apart, due to their disagreement over Medicaid Expansion. As a resultGovernor Northam called a Special Session for the General Assembly to continue work on the budget, which convened today. 

In preparation for the Special Session, Governor Northam announced that he will introduce the same budget that Governor McAuliffe proposed in December. That budget includes language that would expand Medicaid coverage to nearly 400,000 Virginians and an assessment on state hospitals to cover the Commonwealth's share of the costs. With the savings realized from Medicaid expansion, the budget makes significant investments in core economic priorities like education, workforce development, mental health services, opioid addiction prevention, and pay raises for state employees, teachers and law enforcement professionals. You can read the Governor's press release here.
 
Governor Northam Completes Action on 2018 Regular Session Legislation   
On Monday, Governor Northam completed action on the over 800 bills passed by the 2018 Regular Session.  The General Assembly will reconvene April 18th to consider his vetoes and amendments.

 

The Governor vetoed 10 bills, including bills
 
Diverting state and local law enforcement resources for political purposes (the "Sanctuary Cities" bill);                       
 
 
Virginia MLK Commission Beloved Community Conversations Continue
  
On March 13th, the MLK Commission held its second Beloved Community Conversation at Old Cabell Hall at the University of Virginia. Dr. Wesley Harris, one of the first African American students to attend the University,  shared his recollections of Dr. King's visit and speech in that very spot on March 25, 1963. A panel then discussed where Charlottesville is today on achieving Dr. King's vision of the Beloved Community, and where we go from here. You can watch the video of the conversation here.
 
The Beloved Community Conversations are part of the MLK Commission's King in Virginia Project, King in Virginia Project, which will explore Dr. King's legacy in each of the 12 communities in Virginia he visited. 
 
The next Beloved Community Conversation will be held at First Baptist Church, Farmville on April 24th from 6-8 pm.  Panelists include:
  • Pastor James Ashton, First Baptist Church
  • Megan Clark, Prince Edward Commonwealth Attorney 
  • James Ghee, NAACP of Prince Edward County VA 
  • Dorothy Holcomb, Moton Museum Council Chair 
  • Cameron De'von Patterson, Managing Director Robert Russa Moton Museum
 
The program is presented in partnership with the Robert Russa Moton Museum and will be livestreamed on the MLK Commission's Facbook page.