The 2016 session of the General Assembly ended a day early, with legislators approving a balanced budget and fulfilling their constitutional duty to appoint judges to the Commonwealth’s courts. And for the second year in a row, it completed its work a day ahead of schedule. The seven-month-long vacancy on the Supreme Court of Virginia was filled in the final days of the session. Virginia Court of Appeals Judge Stephen McCullough was elected to a twelve-year term, winning majority support in both the House and Senate. The media frequently covered the lengthy standoff over the selection of a new justice…..
With just one week left in the 2016 session of Virginia’s General Assembly, legislators are wrapping up work on legislation and preparing to approve the new 2016-2018 biennial budget. The last two times the General Assembly considered a new biennial budget, in 2012 and 2014, impasses lasting weeks resulted in overtime sessions. Things are moving briskly this year, however. The new budget will include over $12 million in funding for an initiative I began championing last year. The New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Fund would change the way Virginia treats credentialed and certified education programs, granting skills-based curriculum some of…..
Things continue to move on schedule at the General Assembly, and this week the House of Delegates approved its version of Virginia’s 2016-2018 biennial budget. The House’s spending plan does not raise taxes or fees, nor does it include the Affordable Care Act’s optional Medicaid expansion. It is a balanced budget that invests over $600 million in the rainy day fund and increases funding to our public schools. It also includes just under $1 million to revitalize the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research in Forest. Last year, I began advocating that Virginia become one of the states that…..
Crossover is now behind us. From here forward, my colleagues and I in the House of Delegates will be considering bills filed by Senators. And when I’m not listening to senators tell me all about their legislation, I’ll be busy explaining my bills to them. That’s the way Virginia’s General Assembly works, and it is essential to successfully considering a large volume of bills in a short period of time. Some states have much longer sessions with full-time legislators. We have sessions that last just 60 days and our legislators usually have an additional job back home. To preserve…..
With crossover looming, there was a lot of activity this week in Richmond. As we pass the halfway point of the 2016 General Assembly session, there’s a lot of discussion on the floors of both chambers, where key pieces of legislation are often being debated at great length. One of the longest debates of the session came on Friday, when the House of Delegates considered legislation to reform Virginia’s Certificate of Public Need (COPN) law. Since I have been active in the effort to increase patient choice and lower costs by reforming these laws, I played a major role in…..