We continue to hurtle toward crossover of the 2018 Session of the General Assembly. Crossover is basically the mid-point, though it typically occurs a little past the 30th day of the 60 day session.
While the Constitution of Virginia sets forth the requirements for how a bill becomes a law, such as passing both houses in exactly the same form and being read three times before a vote is taken, there are certain rules the legislature adopts each session to govern the conduct of business. One function of those rules is to set forth exactly how much time each body has to consider its own bills, including its version of the budget. The crossover, when the Senate and House have to finalize action on bills that originated in their own chamber, is February 13. With the budget bill, a few more days are granted. We will not vote on our respective versions of the budget until February 22.
This session has brought some uncertainty, for a couple of important reasons. [Read more…]
The 2015 Special Session of the General Assembly was over before it began. The Governor called the legislature into a Special Session to begin on August 17 to respond to a federal ruling on the 3rd Congressional District. Specifically, the court, sitting in the Eastern District of Virginia, found that the 3rd Congressional District constituted unfair “packing” of African American voters thereby minimizing the influence of African American voters in surrounding districts. Theoretically, the flaw in the current redistricting plan which the court identified could be fixed by simply readjusting the lines of the 3rd Congressional District with the surrounding districts. But a simple redistricting session did not occur. [Read more…]
After much thought, I want to announce that I will run for re-election to the State Senate this fall. I am proud of the many things we have been able to accomplish, working together, to protect the most vulnerable, Virginia’s children, to conserve Virginia’s open space, to rebuild Virginia’s economy, and recently to reform our system of mental health care. I will be humbled to ask the voters in the 25th Senatorial District for their votes on November 3rd so that I may continue my work. [Read more…]