The General Assembly completed its work a day early this year, adjourning on Friday, February 27. That is a pretty dramatic contrast to last year’s session, which ended without a budget and immediately went into a special session to resolve the impasse. So instead of finishing our work in June, we actually finished in February. Of course, completing our work on schedule should not really be considered an accomplishment; it should be expected. But over the last decade, using the budget as weapon to enact policies that can’t win majorities in both chambers – as required by the Constitution of…..
The second to last week of session is ordinarily one of the busiest. Both House and Senate Committees have to finish work on the bills that have been assigned to them during this week, to ensure there is sufficient time for legislation to be debated in the respective chambers and – if there are differences – negotiated by committees of conference. This year, the second to final week also coincided with the worst weather of the session. A snowstorm hit Richmond, followed by bracingly cold weather. Since the General Assembly does not shut down or alter its schedule because of…..
This week marked the passing of crossover, the midpoint of the legislative calendar, and the approval by both the House and the Senate of their respective packages of amendments to Virginia’s 2014-2016 Biennial Budget. That made for a busy and productive week at the Capitol. Four of my bills were approved by the House this week and are now being considered by the Senate. The House unanimously approved House Bill 2383, which I referenced in a previous column. The bill makes an important change to Virginia law regarding child support for disabled children over the age of 18. It provides…..
With more than half of this year’s General Assembly session behind us and with the legislative halfway mark, crossover, looming, this week in Richmond was filled with action on bills and resolutions. Having invested a great deal of effort throughout my service in the General Assembly on the challenge of workforce development, I submitted several bills this session to increase the opportunities for Virginians to find meaningful and rewarding employment. When you consider that I submit legislation to enhance workforce development every year, you may reasonably ask why must this challenge be so frequently addressed. When the General Assembly alters…..
With nearly two-fifths of the 2015 General Assembly session already completed, the legislative process is in full swing as February begins. The final count on bills and resolutions filed by legislators exceeds 2,500, a lot to consider over the course of just 46 days. Two of my bills have already been approved by the House and are headed to the Senate for consideration. House Bill 1523 is a workforce development bill that deals specifically with those currently serving in the National Guard. Even though Guard members customarily serve one weekend per month, that weekend duty was being calculated as wage…..