Bills, Bills, Bills

Bills, Bills, Bills

    View of my desk during the Appropriations Committee hearing on Member Budget Amendments

We are in the midst of the second full week of session down here in Richmond, and our work is picking up quickly! As I reported in last week’s column, I am now on nine subcommittees, and serve as the Chairman of three subcommittees: Campaign Finance in Privileges & Elections, ABC & Gaming in General Laws, and Transportation & Public Safety in Appropriations. 

The Speaker and his staff have nearly completed referring the almost 1,600 pieces of legislation introduced by me and my colleagues in the House, and subcommittee dockets are full this week. 

Today I began the day bright and early at 7 a.m., chairing the Campaign Finance subcommittee where we heard several introduced bills related to campaign donations and reporting requirements. After I adjourned that meeting at 7:30 a.m., I hurried down the hall to the Natural Resources subcommittee on which I sit, where I also had two bills up for a hearing.

This week alone, I had four other bills come up for their first hearing, all of which left subcommittee on unanimous votes. Part of my solar energy bill package, HB 198 directs the Department of Energy to produce a report on the benefits and full potential of solar energy in the Commonwealth. HB 522 empowers the ABC Board of Directors to modernize its online advertising regulations. HB 526 reduces the registration fee for charitable organizations in the Commonwealth. HB 1349 streamlines the process for obtaining an ABC license for performing arts centers. I predict that by this week’s end, I will present more than half of my 24 pieces of legislation before subcommittee. 

Be sure to visit the Legislative Information System to learn more about legislation my colleagues and I have introduced:

As we approach “crossover” on Feb. 13, subcommittee dockets and House floor sessions will grow ever longer. “Crossover” is the day by which all House bills must be voted on and sent to the Senate, and vice versa.

In addition to bills, work has already begun on the House Budget. On Monday, Appropriations members like me heard testimony from all other Delegates on their three priority budget amendment proposals. This presentation is a unique opportunity to hear about budgetary items that will benefit Virginians in all corners of the Commonwealth. Over the next few weeks, I look forward to sharing more of the budget items I requested that will impact the 16th District. I invite you to visit the Virginia State Budget website if you are interested in viewing all budget amendments requested by General Assembly members:

As you know, I also meet daily with dozens of advocacy groups and constituents who visit Richmond to speak to me about their positions on legislation important to them. I rely on constituents sharing their thoughts on bills to inform how I plan to vote on these issues. Please contact my office if you want to visit me in the new General Assembly Building during this year’s session. We are happy to arrange a meeting and an opportunity to sit in the House Gallery to watch a Floor Session.