The week leading up to crossover is always busy, although it usually lands on a Tuesday. This year it lands on a Friday – just one more unique feature of this session. While many hot topic issues have been discussed this week from the abolition of the death penalty to the legalization of marijuana, I want to focus this week on our public schools. [Read more…]
Marijuana, Bikes, and More
This most unusual of legislative sessions is going quickly. We are nearing the crossover, the deadline for the Senate to act on senate bills and the House of Delegates to act on house bills. It’s crunch time as the Senate completes work on bills and get them to the House for consideration. I want to report on some of the more significant actions.
As I’ve written in the space before, one of the big policies under consideration is the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. [Read more…]
The first full week of the 2021 session of the General Assembly is in the bag. The impact of the changes put in place this year because of COVID was starker. While the work is much the same, the people, the location, and the interactions are so very different. [Read more…]
The 2021 Session of the General Assembly got off to an interesting start. The pandemic has pushed us into a corner. On January 1st, we lost a member of the Senate. Senator Ben Chafin was a good man who cared about the people he represented and the issues he fought for. He will be missed. His death from complications of COVID-19 brought home the real consequences of this novel coronavirus. While the vaccines have been developed and everyone is tired of social distancing and wearing facemasks, we must remain careful. Until a sufficient number of people are vaccinated, we will not have this disease under control. [Read more…]
As 2020 is draws to a close, I cannot help but reflect on the unusual nature of this year as we prepare for the 2021 Session. From a legislative perspective, the regular session lasted 65 days, and we convened again in August for a 84-day special session. Of course, the General Assembly did not meet every day during the 65- and 84-day spans. During a regular session, legislators typically go home to spend time with family or to work their full-time jobs on the weekends. The special session met even more sporadically.
Politically, this year saw the return of Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate and a lot of pent-up demand from Democratic constituencies. The change in power meant the General Assembly was busy. [Read more…]