January 3rd, 2022
Happy New Year! My staff and I are busy preparing for the 2022 General Assembly Session, which convenes Wednesday, January 12th, 2022.
In this newsletter, I’ve included information about Redistricting, Virtual Budget Hearings, New Laws in Effect, a Town Hall, and my Constituent Survey.
In December, Governor Northam presented his 2022-2024 biennial state budget to the House and Senate money committees. Governor Northam’s budget reflects his priorities and will be reviewed and amended by the General Assembly like any other bill. Legislators have until 5 pm on Friday, January 14th to introduce budget amendments.
The House Appropriations and the Senate Finance & Appropriations Committees will hold virtual public hearings on the proposed budget on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022 beginning at 10:00 AM. There will be four separate virtual hearings, with legislators from each region for Northern Virginia, Western Virginia, Hampton Roads, and Central Virginia (Richmond).
To speak at a hearing, you must register on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, at the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee website or House Appropriations Committee website. Speakers will be taken in the order of registration and are asked to limit their comments to three minutes or less.
If you are unable to attend the virtual hearing, you may submit your comments electronically here.
The hearings will be live-streamed on the Virginia General Assembly website.
On December 28th, 2021 The Supreme Court of Virginia unanimously approved redistricting maps for new congressional and state legislative districts that will remain in place for the next decade. You can read the redistricting final order, the memo prepared by the special masters who drew the maps, and view the approved maps here.
For the 2023 election, my district will be re-numbered from SD-9 to SD-14, consisting of portions of Richmond City (78.9%) and Henrico County (21.1%). The remaining portions of Henrico County and Charles City County comprising SD-9 will be in the new SD-13. The Hanover portions of SD-9 will be in the new SD-10. I will continue to represent these areas until my term ends in January 2024, and will run for re-election in the new SD-14.
For analysis of the new maps, the Virginia Public Access Project has many resources which you can view here. To see how the new redistricting maps affect you, you can use VPAP’s Voter Impact tool here.
NEW LAWS IN EFFECT
Many of the laws passed by the General Assembly in 2021 took effect on July 1st, 2021 but there are some that were delayed until January 1st, 2022. Here’s a look at a few laws that just took effect:
Minimum Wage Increase:
Virginia’s minimum wage goes from $9.50 per hour to $11 per hour.
Identification cards for non-drivers in the undocumented community:
Non-drivers and children in the undocumented community will now be able to apply for a Virginia-issued ID at a local Department of Motor Vehicles office.
Ban on Animal Testing of Cosmetic Products:
The Humane Cosmetics Act puts an end to cosmetics testing on animals in Virginia and also prevents any further sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals.
GREATER RICHMOND-AREA VIRTUAL PRE-SESSION TOWN HALL
Please join Senator Ghazala Hashmi, Senator Joe Morrissey, Delegate Betsy Carr, Delegate Dawn Adams, and me on Thursday, January 6, at 6:00 PM for a virtual, Pre-Session Town Hall. Thank you to Delegate Adams for hosting this event!
To register, click here.
My office is always available to answer legislative questions, assist with contacting state agencies, and more. You can reach us by emailing [email protected] or by calling (804) 698-7509.