Dear Prince William families, friends, and neighbors,
We’re halfway there with two key events in our legislative calendar: (1) Passing the date known as “Crossover,” and (2) voting on the House version of the two-year Virginia state budget!
As always, the keystrokes, words, and thoughts are my own and not those of a staff member!
CROSSOVER: First, we hit the halfway point this week in the 2017 legislative session of the Virginia General Assembly, known as “Crossover.” That’s the date when House bills must cross over to the Senate and Senate bills must cross over to the House. We’re now driving to complete our work during the second half of this year’s session and adjourn on February 25th, when we return home to our families and districts. During this session, 1,600 bills were introduced in the House and 1,000 bills were introduced in the Senate. By the end of session, around 800 will make their way to the Governor for signature.
BUDGET: Second, the House voted on our version of the biennial Virginia state budget and sent it to the Senate for their consideration. In the face of a $1.2B revenue shortfall this year, our goal is to send a spending plan to the Governor on February 25th. I’ve been hard at work on our budget with my fellow HAC members from Prince William County, Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-31) and Del. Luke E. Torian (D-52). Key points on the budget:
• It’s balanced and cautious.
• It doesn’t raise taxes on hardworking Virginia families.
• It cares for the core needs of our people in education, transportation, public safety, and other areas.
• It makes jobs and economic growth a top priority by funding our “GO Virginia” economic initiative.
• It recognizes that education is the gateway to opportunity and invests in our children.
• It works to control college costs.
• It restores pay raises for state employees and law enforcement that were in jeopardy with our revenue shortfall (both groups have gone multiple years with no or marginal pay raises).
• It makes significant investments in the area of mental health with a $28.5M increase in mental health services and funding for supportive housing and same-day access.