Last night, I droveÂ home from Richmond after castingÂ votes on what may be two ofÂ the most significant legislation coming out of the 2011 session of the Virginia General Assembly.Â Â The House and Senate unanimously adopted the conference report onÂ amendments to the biennial budgetÂ and also passed Governor McDonnell's transportation bill on a bipartisan vote.
Happy Valentine's Day!Â I was reminded of this special occasion today when I walked onto the floor of the House ChamberÂ and saw many of my colleagues donning red ties, red dresses, and some even red hats.Â This is apparently one of the many traditions of the Virginia General Assembly, to dress in certain colors on certain days.
Happy Valentine's Day! I was reminded of this special occasion today when I walked onto the floor of the House Chamber and saw many of my colleagues donning red ties, red dresses, and some even red hats. This is apparently one of the many traditions of the Virginia General Assembly, to dress in certain colors on certain days.
Another tradition of the oldest continuous legislative body is the shortness of our sessions!Â We are only two weeks away from adjourning the regular session of 2011.Â That means that we only have this weekÂ and next week to complete work on the hundreds of Senate bills that came to the House, plus adopt the final budget that has to come back from conference.
We will be returning to Richmond on Wednesday, April 6, for a one-day "reconvene" session whenÂ theÂ House and Senate will consider any changes that the Governor wantsÂ included before he signs bills into law or vetoes them.
Since 2011 is a redistricting year following census, the General Assembly will also begin a special session immediately after the veto day in AprilÂ to consider new districts for the state offices weÂ hold.Â WithÂ many changes in Virginia's population over the past ten years, we anticipate significant modifications to the 100 House and 40 Senate district boundaries from the current lines.
For everyone who currently lives in our 35th District, let me anticipate your question and respond by saying that I have no idea what ourÂ district will look like, or even if I will continue to be your Delegate...
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 weâ€™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.
Right after I send this email, Iâ€™ll be getting in my car to drive 105 miles south to Richmond to begin the 2011 regular session of the Virginia General Assembly.Â At noon today, I will again take my seat in the â€œoldest continuous law-making body in the New World.â€
I am stull shocked and saddened about what happened in Tucson yesterday,Â and I mourn the loss of so many lives.
I'm particularly heartbroken over the death of Christina-Taylor Green who was born on September 11, 2001.Â Terrorism unfortunately bookended her nine short years in this world, but from what I've read about this remarkable girl, she was destined for big things.Â As a father of a nine year old, I cannot imagine the pain and suffering her family must be going through, so I ask everyone to continue praying for Christina-Taylor and her family.
This morning, IÂ joined Governor Bob McDonnell, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, Speaker of the House of Delegates Bill Howell, Commerce Secretary Jim Cheng andÂ a group of bipartisanÂ legislators and industry leaders to announce the "Opportunity at Work" agenda to be introduced in the 2011 General Assembly session.Â
This morning, my family spent a few hours delivering turkeys and trimmings to some of our neighbors who are less fortunate than we are.Â These families and individuals suffer from serious illnesses such as cancer, AIDS, and other life-threatening challenges, while facing economic troubles that won't allow them to be self-sufficient.
We joined hundreds of other volunteers at Food & Friends in Washington DCÂ who prepared the food and made home deliveries throughout Virginia, Maryland and DC.