The 2018 General Assembly session has officially gaveled in! This year will be a long session (60 days) where we tackle important issues such as healthcare, the opioid crisis, and the teacher shortage across Virginia. The election cycle may have lasted longer than anyone expected, but there is a lot of work to get done, and that work began this week, prioritizing the real problems people talk about at home.
The House was officially started on Wednesday, January 10th at 12 noon. It started with Republican Delegate Kirk Cox being unanimously elected to be the 55th Speaker of the House. Speaker Cox set a clear tone for the 2018 Session, pledging to focus on governing, working across the aisle, and leading with character and integrity.
I am pleased to report that I will continue on the same three committees I served on last year: Health, Welfare and Institutions; Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources; and Militia, Police and Public Safety.
The Republican Majority passed a rules package that expands the existing rule on proportional representation, to both committees and subcommittees, and required the House to utilize electronic voting equipment to record votes in committee and subcommittee. The House will also live stream all committee meetings, as announced in 2017. The House unanimously approved these changes.
Last year the house continued making advances in improving transparency. We instituted a two day waiting period before voting on budget so the public could review the proposal and prohibited committee meetings held at member desks on the chamber floor. I, along with my House Republican colleagues, take public access to the legislative proceedings seriously.
Governor-Elect Ralph Northam will be sworn in as Governor on Saturday and I look forward to working with him on areas where there is bipartisan support.
As we start the General Assembly, I encourage you to fill out my session survey that was in my last newsletter if you haven’t already done so. There was a glitch in one of the questions but that has been corrected. Please make sure you complete and send in your survey by January 19th.
Quote of the Day:
Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. Henry Ford
As long as I am I public office, I will represent you with integrity and humility!