- Governor Bob McDonnell addressed the joint assembly on Wednesday night with his final State of the Commonwealth speech. He is leaving the Commonwealth in a much better financial position than when he took office four years ago when he inherited a budget with shortfalls of almost $6 billion and now he leaves with a budget surplus of a record $2 billion. Overall, I think he was an effective leader who was able to work across the aisle to accomplish much for the state.
- So far, this session has started off fairly quietly. As you know, a new administration is taking the reins and there have been a lot of new appointments. Governor-Elect Terry McAuliffe will officially be sworn into office tomorrow, January 11. After that transition is complete, we will get down to business as usual.
- Speaker Bill Howell announced committee assignments this week and I am proud to announce that I have been appointed to the Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee. This committee will address legislation relating to health care. With two major hospitals in the 60th district, I feel that I can be much more effective for our district working on this committee. If you have concerns over any healthcare legislation, please let me hear from you.
- In addition to HWI, I will continue to serve on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources and on Militia, Police and Public Safety. Again, please don't hesitate to contact me on any legislation that may come before these committees.
- Our primary focus this session will be on getting another two year budget in place. However, I expect major legislative pushes for expansion of Medicaid, new mental health legislation, in-state tuition for immigrants, and ethics reform, among other issues. I invite you to tell me how you feel on these and other issues we will be taking a look at.