With about a week left before the 2017 Session ends, many of the controversial issues have been resolved. However, there are still some things to finalize. Several committees will be meeting on Monday, which is the final day for committees to act on legislation. In addition, the budget and many other bills are already in conference. As I mentioned in an earlier newsletter, the budget conferees will be working to develop a compromise budget during this final week of session. [Read more…]
One of the strengths of Virginia’s legislative process is that legislators are part-time. One hundred forty men and women from all over Virginia and from all walks of life come to Richmond to serve in the legislature during this time of year. The sessions are 60 days in length during even-numbered years and 46 days in odd-numbered years. The rest of the year we spend our time in our communities, working and volunteering, and meeting with constituents. But there is a move, albeit subtle, to change all that. [Read more…]
Groundhog Day was yesterday, which means we are very close to the crossover of the 2017 legislative session. Crossover, which comes shortly after the midpoint of each session, is the point by which the Senate must act on all senate bills and the House on all house bills. The bills then cross over to the other side for consideration.
At the beginning of each session each legislator has goals they want to accomplish. I am no different. One hundred forty legislators sponsored thousands of bills this year and had policies they sought to advance. Now however we are in the heart of the sausage-making process, and many of those dreams have been dashed. By next Tuesday, everything but the budget will cross over from each side to the other. The pace now is frenetic. [Read more…]
The 2017 Session of the General Assembly is flying by. We are two and a half weeks into the session, and we only have about four weeks left. The committees are meeting around the clock to try to dispose of bills, and often legislators must be in three places at the same time. [Read more…]
While the peaceful transition of power occurs amid celebration and protest in Washington, the work goes on here in Richmond. We have about five weeks left to finish work on the multitude of bills that come up and to balance the budget.
What that means is that a single bill does not get much time for consideration or opportunity for meaningful discussion. That is one reason why I emphasize that legislative success sometimes takes several years to achieve. It is difficult to introduce a new topic at the beginning of session and expect results that year. [Read more…]