Latest E-News from Delegate Keam: Report from Richmond
January 24, 2011
Today was only the ninth day that the General Assembly has met since we began on Wednesday, January 12.Â But from the quick pace of action down here in Richmond, it sure seems like we've been in session for much longer!
Over the past two weeks, I have already sat through many committee and subcommittee meetings and several days of House floor debates.Â We have voted on dozens of measures and approved numerous judges.
Since this is the 45-day "short" session, the House has to finish all work on our Chamber's bills by February 8.Â After that day, which is known as "crossover," the House deals exclusively with Senate bills while the Senate deals with House bills we sent over to them.
I have introduced a total of 16 legislative proposals, three of which (HB 2272, HB 2276 & HB 2279) were already approved by subcommittees.Â I expect the rest of my bills to be presented in various House committees during this coming week.Â
As I indicated in my last email, some of my legislation deals with promoting jobs for military veterans, providing property tax relief for elderly and disabled, reducing government spending, encouraging energy conservation, and bringing more transparency to government.
I have also introduced legislation to protect consumers from unlicensed contractors, to allow parents of students to review school board decisions, and to lift the ban on Sunday hunting to control overpopulation of deer that harm homeowners in Fairfax County.
To learn more about my bills and to follow their legislative status in the General Assembly, please check the General Assembly's and my website regularly.Â And if you have any questions or comments about my proposals, I would love to talk with you about it so please give me a call or email.
It's going to be a busy few weeks but I'm excited to be back in Richmond working or you.Â Thank you for your interest!
Mark L. Keam
P.S., As a Member of the Militia and Public Safety Committee, I met the new Adjutant General of the Virginia National Guard as well as some of our bravest men and women in uniform.Â During this session, I am focusing on legislation to provide military veterans with job opportunities in the civilian sector.
I am so proud and humbled to have the support and endorsement of the American Legion behind my bills, HB 2279 and HJ 637, what I call the "Jobs for Veterans" legislation.Â It was great to have some of our national heroes come and visit me in Richmond!
Thank You for Attending My Recent Town Hall Meeting!
I want to thank everyone who came to our public town hall meeting on Saturday, January 15.Â Â Thanks to the volunteers of American Legion Dyer-Gunnell Post 180 and the Legion Auxiliary, we had a great turnout of over 60 constituents who were very interested in learning about the happenings in Richmond.
The Vienna-Oakton Connection and the Vienna Patch have published some nice articles about our meeting.
As State Senator Chap Petersen and I discussed at the town hall, we anticipate that the biggest issues facing this session of the General Assembly are:
Transportation: Governor Bob McDonnell has introduced a $4 billion proposal which includes some good and some not-so-good provisions, including a controversial plan to privatize liquor stores.
Pension reform: Like many other states, Virginia must consider reforms to our state employees' pension system to ensure solvency in the future.
Jobs and Economy: While Virginia is doing much better than most states, we could do more to promote new jobs and to attract more businesses to locate here.
Education: The Governor unveiled a higher education proposal to make college more accessible for Virginia students.
Immigration: Although Virginia already has some of the nation's toughest civil and criminal laws to address the undocumented population, some legislators believe we should do more.
Redistricting: There will be a special session following the regular session to focus on redrawing the lines of Senate and House districts that we will be running in this year.
While it is still too early in the session to know how these and many other issues will play out, you can be sure that I will be involved with every one of these issues to add my views and to support or oppose measures that I believe are good or bad policy results for our constituents.
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