Newsletters

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

The General Assembly will reconvene of Wednesday,  April 15th  for Veto Session, at which time we will address the Governor's amendments to and vetoes of legislation. 

The 2015 General Assembly Session adjourned  Sine Die  on Friday, February 27th , one day early.  We were able to accomplish a number of things, including the budget, ethics reform, education reform bills (summarized in my most recent Op-Ed in the  Richmond Times-Dispatch ), and bills addressing sexual assault on college campuses, which I highlighted in my Op-Ed two weeks ago. 

Last week, the General Assembly reached "Crossover," the mid-point of Session when the House and Senate must complete work on their own bills. The House and Senate also debated and passed their amendments to the budget introduced by Governor McAuliffe.  In this update I provide a summary of major legislation passed last week and the House budget. 

Last week all of the House committees finished their work on bills introduced in the House in advance of "crossover" on Tuesday, February 10th.  Crossover is the mid-point of the Session, when the House and Senate must complete work on their own bills for them to then be considered by the other chamber.  Bills to be debated on the House floor this week include measures addressing ethics reform and sexual assault on college campuses.

Two full weeks into the General Assembly Session, the pace has picked up quite a bit. Unfortunately, many bills I supported that would move Virginia forward were killed in committee, including the Governor's gun safety legislation and bills to increase the minimum wage, promote gender pay equity, establish paid sick leave, curb predatory lending, prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in housing and public employment, and provide health care coverage to poor Virginians.

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