Today at noon, the 2022 General Assembly Session began. We will meet for a “long” session over the next 60 days to address a number of bills and adopt a 2 year budget. This is a busy and exciting time of year!
This session will see divided government return to Virginia, with a new Republican majority in the House and a Democratic majority in the Senate. New House members will take their oaths of office, and Delegate Todd Gilbert will be elected Speaker of the House and is expected to announce committee assignments this week. As Senate terms run through 2023, my leadership and committee assignments remain the same. With our 21-19 majority in the Senate, my colleagues and I will be working hard to protect the transformative progress we made in recent years. You can follow the action live on the House floor here and on the Senate floor here.
As you may recall, Governor Northam presented his proposed budget last month, which I summarized here. Legislators may introduce budget amendments until 5:00 pm this Friday.
Tonight, Governor Northam will give his final State of the Commonwealth Address to the General Assembly. You can tune in to watch at 7:00 pm here.
Glenn Youngkin will be sworn in as the 74th Governor of Virginia this Saturday, January 15th, 2022. The Inauguration ceremony will take place in Richmond and begin at approximately 12:05 p.m. You can stream live here.
This morning, the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus held a press conference to announce our 2022 Legislative Agenda. View the VLBC agenda here or watch the recording of the press conference here. The Senate Democratic Caucus also held a press conference which you can watch here.
As a reminder, in this government by, of, and for the people, your participation matters to the legislative process. You can find everything you need to contact our offices and follow what’s happening during the session here. If you’re not sure who represents you in the House or Senate, you can find out here. You can track legislation and find committee meeting schedules and agendas here. Information on how to provide testimony on specific bills during committee meetings can be found here.
If you haven’t yet taken my legislative survey, please take a few minutes to do so. I want to hear your feedback on the issues likely to come before the legislature.
My agenda this session focuses directly on investing in Virginia communities as they build back from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes an emphasis on investing in public education, protecting employees, reforming our justice system, increasing access to health care, safeguarding our environment, and reducing gun violence.
This will be an important session for bipartisan work. I have been in the Virginia legislature for 16 years, 14 of which were in the minority party. I know that it is possible to stand up for progressive values and address inequity while working across the aisle. I am just as committed as I’ve always been to building consensus, solving problems, and getting things done for the people of Virginia.
View a list of the bills I am carrying this year here.
Upcoming Town Halls:
I will be hosting a number of town hall meetings during session to keep you posted on what’s happening during the session. See below for how to participate.
Young Democrats Town Hall
The purpose of this event is to bring more young people to the table to be involved in the 2022 session. It will be a space where we can discuss the priorities of young people and give an accessible introduction to the legislative process.
It will also feature special guests Delegates Suhas Subramanyam, Briana Sewell, and Sam Rasoul who will talk about their journey to serving as elected public servants.
Senate District 9 Town Hall Meeting
I am to be joined by Delegates Betsy Carr, Jeff Bourne, Delores McQuinn, and Dawn Adams, each of whom serve portions of Senate District 9.
We will also hear a COVID-19 update from Dr. Danny Avula, Director of the Richmond City and Henrico County Health Departments and former Virginia state vaccine liaison for the Virginia Department of Health.
To stay up to date with the goings-on in the General Assembly throughout these next few weeks follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. To get in touch with my office staff, email [email protected] or call (804) 698-7509.
Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for next week’s newsletter!
Senator Jennifer McClellan