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…]
The 2017 regular session of the Virginia General Assembly is underway. This short session is scheduled to adjourn on the last Saturday in February. During those 46 days, the legislature will consider more than 2,500 bills that come from delegates and senators from around Virginia, together with amendments to the two-year budget. [Read more…]
With the legislature wrapping up the 2016 Regular Session of the General Assembly in a day or so, I wanted to provide a status report.
The budget deal has been reported in most of the major newspapers. It includes a three percent pay raise for state employees and faculty at our institutions of higher learning, as well as a two percent raise for teachers and other state-supported local employees. The budget deal also includes about $190 million to bulk up the Virginia Retirement System. You will recall that contributions were reduced during the recession. This action will allow us to restore those funds about six years ahead of time. The increases in teacher pay are a part of a $900 million increase in K-12 spending by the state. [Read more…]
One of the most important responsibilities of the General Assembly is the election of judges. After all, judges represent the Commonwealth and the whole notion of justice in the court and the community. People need to know that they are going to have an equal shot at justice in every court. I came down here this year with a couple of priorities with respect to judges. [Read more…]