The General Assembly is steadily marching toward adjournment. The House and Senate are efficiently working through what’s left of the 2,400 pieces of legislation filed. If we stay on our current pace, the General Assembly could adjourn ahead of schedule – something that has not happened in 15 years.
Hashing out the budget
The House and Senate have passed competing versions of the state budget, which are now being worked out by a conference committee before being brought back to each chamber for a final vote.
The House budget is a conservative, responsible budget spending blueprint. We call for spending $1.1 billion less than the original two-year budget adopted last June. The House budget also eliminates $10.2 million in fees on hardworking families and businesses, eliminates $42.5 million in debt proposed by Governor McAuliffe and rejects Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. The House budget also prioritizes pay raises for our teachers – their second pay raise in three years – and state police officers.
Honoring Bill Harrelson
The Virginia House of Delegates honored Stafford resident Bill Harrelson with a center aisle presentation on the floor of the House this week.
Bill completed a remarkable three-week journey in January, circumnavigating the globe in a single-engine aircraft. Bill set a world record for the fastest circumnavigation in a light aircraft.
Bill and his wife, Sue, live in Stafford. We were honored to have them in Richmond to recognize their great accomplishment and present them with a commending resolution.
2015 Constituent Survey Results
Thanks to the over 400 citizens who completed the 2015 Constituent Survey, either online or in the mail. I appreciate the valuable feedback you offered. I wanted to share some results of the survey with you.
What should be the General Assembly’s top priority this year?
High school students are required to take 12 SOL tests in order to graduate. Do you think the General Assembly should reduce the number of SOL tests for high school students, similar to the reduction applied to grades 3-8 last year?
School choice refers to the idea that parents and children should have a variety of traditional and non-traditional educational options available to ensure that each student’s learning experience helps them meet their full potential. Which of the following school choice options do you support? [Check all that apply.]
Of the following options, how do you think the General Assembly should address the rising cost of higher education?
Do you support or oppose Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in Virginia? While expansion would enroll up to 400,000 currently uninsured Virginians in Medicaid, it could cost the Commonwealth over $1 billion per year, forcing cuts to other key services like education, mental health care and public safety.
Virginia’s Medicaid program is the fastest growing part of the state budget, having grown by 1600% over the last 30 years. It now accounts for over 20% of state general fund spending. To combat these rising costs, some lawmakers have proposed hiring an independent auditor to conduct a comprehensive financial and operational audit of Medicaid. Would you support or oppose this audit?