Legislative Committee General Session Update – 2/8/2023

Dearest members,

Yesterday, the Roanoke Times dramatically headlined the front page of the paper: “Bills Fall to Wayside”. . . referencing the work being done in Richmond at the General Assembly.

Effective today, Wednesday, February 8, aside from working on the budget… each house may only consider the legislation and amendments of the other house. (We will report more about the budget next week.) Though almost 2,000 bills were introduced this session, most “died in committee.”

Just think… if Democrats regain the majority in the House of Delegates, in 2023, during this upcoming election cycle, more violence prevention measures, including bans on assault weapons would be considered in both chambers!  All 140 seats are in play this year!

Thank heavens for the Democratic Senate majority and their blocking of “bad bills” from crossing over! Maybe Gov. Youngkin calls it “shameful” that Senate Democrats blocked three of his appointees, including his pick for Health Commissioner. Well, Dr. Colin Green, who has downplayed the significance of racism in health disparities, has effectively damaged the Virginia Department of Health’s ability to function! Senator Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond says “…his leadership is having a chilling effect on the work that the Legislative Black Caucus has done to address racism as a public health crisis.”

Three excerpts from today’s news

Va. General Assembly faces stalemate on guns, abortion at ‘crossover’  
Washington Post 
The General Assembly session hit its midpoint Tuesday, and here’s where lawmakers in the House of Delegates have reached bipartisan consensus on one major issue, gun safety: A bill to provide a tax credit for buying a gun safe. House Bill 2387 is the most significant example of the increasingly partisan House finding middle ground on a topic that has riled Virginians anew since a series of horrific shooting incidents in the past few months. Other topics such as abortion, criminal justice and education have also produced little cooperation during a politically charged year when all 140 seats in the legislature are on the November ballot.  

Virginia Senate passes competing energy legislation
Associated Press
The Democrat-controlled Virginia Senate passed legislation Tuesday that would adjust the way state regulators set and oversee Dominion Energy’s electric rates and profitability. The bill that cleared the Senate in a 27-13 bipartisan vote differs substantially from a companion House measure, which also passed that full chamber on Tuesday. The developments mean the legislation is likely headed to a conference committee, a small group of lawmakers from both chambers who would meet to resolve the differences.
Youngkin’s workforce development bill passes House and Senate   
Richmond Times-Dispatch
One of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s top legislative priorities — a bill to consolidate dozens of programs — is headed to his desk after both the House of Delegates and state Senate voted Tuesday to enact the change. The new Department of Workforce Development and Advancement would be the administrator and fiscal agent — the money manager— for state programs that help people train for and find jobs.  

Please visit the General Assembly’s website to follow bills of concern… … and do feel free to email Sandra with issues of importance to you!

This special “Crossover Week” news has been brought to you by
Catherine, Becky, Jessica, Barbara and Sandra

Download report pdf here.