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The General Assembly reconvened on April 20th for "Veto Session" to consider the Governor's amendments and vetoes to the over 800 bills passed this year.  All of the Governor's vetoes were sustained.  The General Assembly also considered the Governor's 45 amendments to bills. Of those, 40 were accepted, including the Go Virginia economic development program.

The General Assembly adjourned Sine Die on March 11th, one day early, after completing work on thousands of bills and a $105 billion two-year budget.   The Governor has until midnight, April 11th to sign, amend, or veto the legislation on his desk.  On Wednesday, April 20th, the General Assembly will return for Reconvened Session to consider the Governor's amendments and vetoes.

We are nearing the finish line for the 2016 General Assembly Session, with a little over a week to go.  Last week, the House and the Senate acted on their respective budgets. The House budget proposal, outlined below, has a number of positive items, including pay increases for state employees and increased spending on public schools. However, both the House and Senate budgets remove funding for Medicaid expansion, leaving hundreds of thousands of Virginians without access to quality health care services.

Today marks the mid-way point of the session, known as "Crossover". This is the date by which each chamber must complete work on its own bills. Before the end of the day, we will vote on hundreds of bills on the House floor, covering charter schools, juvenile justice reform, economic development, certificate of public need reform for hospitals, ethics, guns, and early childhood education.  We will address the biennial budget next week.

Session is well underway, but was disrupted by Winter Storm Jonas.  For only the second time in 48 years, the General Assembly closed last Friday as the Governor declared a state of emergency and the Commonwealth prepared for the storm.

The 2016 Session of the General Assembly convened last Wednesday for a "long session," and we will address nearly 2,000 bills and resolutions, as well as the 2-year budget. I have introduced 20 bills, which I will describe in coming updates. In this newsletter, I give a summary of Governor McAuliffe's State of the Commonwealth address and the Legislative Black Caucus's legislative agenda. 

The 2016 General Assembly Regular Session will convene at noon on tomorrow for a "long session" to address a number of bills and the 2-year budget.  In this update, I provide a summary of Governor McAuliffe's proposed biennial budget and the House Democratic Caucus's legislative agenda. 

On Monday, the General Assembly returns to Richmond for a Redistricting Special Session.  This session results from a federal court finding our 2011 Congressional redistricting plan unconstitutional because it improperly concentrated African American voters into the 3rd Congressional District.  The court ordered the General Assembly to develop a new Congressional redistricting plan by September 1, 2015, and has denied appeals and a request for a stay by Congressional Republicans.  While no plan has yet to be introduced, any plan considered should meet certain legal and policy criteria.  

The 2015 General Assembly Session adjourned on February 27th and returned on April 15th for three days for Reconvened Session to act on the Goveronor's vetoes and amendments to bills. We passed a revised budget reflecting a budget shortfall due to federal sequestration. A summary of major bills passed this year is included in this newsletter.

 

The General Assembly reconvened on April 15th for Veto Session, at which time we addressed the Governor's vetoes of and amendments to legislation passed during the 2015 Session.  You can read a summary of the Governor's vetoes and amendments here

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