We knew back in April that we would need to return to Richmond for a special session to address budgetary issues. The pandemic dramatically reduced the amount of revenue flowing into Virginia’s tax coffers. We experienced a $2.7 billion budget shortfall and have seen nearly every aspect of state government impacted by the pandemic. Budgetary matters, for the most part have yet to be considered. The first few weeks of this special session has been consumed by other issues, such as the eviction crisis and utility bills, and by criminal justice reform. [Read more…]
The 2020 General Assembly Session seems so long ago. Way back when we were running a surplus and adopting a budget that funded so many critical priorities in the Commonwealth. [Read more…]
Last week the General Assembly considered two significant budget amendments offered by the Governor that I did not speak to in my most recent newsletter. I wanted to offer a few thoughts on these amendments, both of which were related to the pandemic. [Read more…]
The Reconvened Session of the General Assembly met in Richmond on Wednesday, April 22. The purpose of the Reconvened Session under the Constitution of Virginia is to consider amendments and vetoes offered by the Governor. It has been part of the Virginia process since the 1971 Constitution. Before that time, the legislature did not have an opportunity to override or consider the Governor’s actions.
The age of social distancing made it an interesting day. Without question, we all want to get back to work and get back to normalcy as quickly as possible. However it is also clear that social distancing is working. We are slowing the spread of the virus, and therefore saving our medical assets and lives. We are all in this together, and we must be patient. Knowing all of that did not make the Reconvened or Veto Session any easier.
Because of the social distancing rules, the House and Senate could not meet in their chambers in the state Capitol. The Senate arranged for us to meet in a spacious room at the Science Museum of Virginia on Broad Street in Richmond. In that room, we had desks that were spaced six feet apart. We were all required to wear masks, and we were equipped with gloves and hand sanitizer. Debate, questioning and presentation while wearing a face mask made it even more unusual. [Read more…]
We have been monitoring the spread of COVID-19 closely. We are in uncharted waters, and we need to continue to take swift action to assist all Virginians through this crisis. I am in communication today with the Governor to see how the state can assist our citizens and businesses through this extraordinary time. I am asking the Governor to provide meaningful relief and stand ready to return to Richmond if measures are needed beyond his executive powers. I would like to thank the Governor for his leadership during this time and encourage everyone to follow CDC guidelines and practice safe social distancing. With the closures of schools and many workplaces, some community services are adapting or offering additional resources during this time. For more information on COVID-19 and what you can do to be safe, please visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website or the CDC website.
Below are just a few options and announcements affecting District 25 residents. We will update this list as we receive more information.
Regarding School Closures
We understand that the sudden closures of schools creates food insecurity for students on free or reduced lunch programs. Each locality is handling this differently. Please monitor your local school systems’ website and Facebook page to see current plans as they are updating frequently. Some school systems have not finalized their plans yet, but are anticipating something soon.
- Albemarle County: Student Meal Service During School Closure
- Alleghany County: Alleghany County Public Schools
- Buena Vista City: Buena Vista City Public Schools
- Charlottesville City: Neighborhood Meal Delivery During Closure
- Covington City: Coronavirus Updates
- Highland County: COVID-19 Emergency Food Program
- Lexington City: Official Website – City Schools
- Nelson County: Health and Wellness Update
- Rockbridge County: COVID-19 Information
- If you are a member of the UVA community and are unable to leave grounds, UVA Food Pantry provides food and toiletries in the SAC building (1st floor of Newcomb Hall)
- SupportCville has a cultivated list of ways to provide and get help, including monetary, delivery of supplies, and legal concerns
- Rockbridge Area Relief Association will still be accepting help applications via phone and email. They will also be operating their food pantry on a drive-up basis. If you are low-risk, please consider volunteering
Do you know of an organization providing additional services during this time? Do you have opportunities for volunteering? Send us an email at [email protected].
We will do our best to provide updates and new information on social media.