With the reconvened session complete, the General Assembly has completed its work for 2017. Despite the Governor’s vetoes, I am proud of what the House accomplished on behalf of Virginians this year. We closed a billion-dollar budget deficit with a conservative and responsibly balanced state budget. We also passed legislation to strengthen our economy, improve our education system, and fought to advance conservative values. Below is a brief update on the 2017 General Assembly session and other items of note I thought would interest you.
The General Assembly reconvened yesterday for the “veto” session to handle Governor McAuliffe’s vetoes and amendments. Unfortunately, Governor McAuliffe broke the record for most vetoes by a governor during a four-year term. He vetoed 40 bills this session, bringing his four-year total to 111. Most the governor’s vetoes were on commonsense bills to strengthen our economy, secure our elections, and expand education choice. The Governor even vetoed eight bills that passed the House with veto-proof majorities thanks to the support of Democrats. Yesterday, many Democrats put partisan politics above good policy and voted to sustain the Governor’s vetoes.
Governor McAuliffe also made several major amendments to the General Assembly’s two-year budget. The House once again rejected the Governor’s effort to expand Medicaid because it was the fiscally responsible thing to do. Medicaid is a broken program in need of reform, not expansion. There is much uncertainty in Washington regarding the future of healthcare policy. It would be irresponsible for Virginia to expand a government run program on a promise from Washington that may or may not be there in the future and regardless of what happens at the federal level, the experience of other states shows that Virginia’s decision to not expand Medicaid was the correct one. We will continue to implement reforms to Medicaid and work to increase our healthcare safety net without expansion.
Updates on My Legislation
House Bills 1396, 1401, 1402, 1968, 1969, 1970, 2341, and 2417 have all been enacted into law. As you know, my priorities in Richmond have focused on economic development, education and healthcare, and the legislation I introduced this past session reflected those priorities. I am pleased that the majority of legislation I introduced became law. Additionally, House Bill 2053, which would allow direct primary care agreements in Virginia, is still being reviewed by Governor McAuliffe. This would establish a new and innovative healthcare delivery model between patients and doctors and I hope the Governor will sign the bill.
Small Business Discussion
Are you a small business owner frustrated with regulations and the obstacles government has created to prevent your company from growing? If so, I encourage you to join me, Delegate Dickie Bell, and candidate for governor Ed Gillespie for a discussion on how to encourage growth and prosperity for Virginia's small businesses at Stable Craft Brewing in Waynesboro on April 27th at 6:30 pm. This event is for small business owners only and an RSVP is required. Please use this link for additional information or to RSVP.
2017 Session Summary
The Division of Legislative Services is the legislative branch agency created by the General Assembly to provide nonpartisan legal and general research services to members of the General Assembly and the standing committees in the House of Delegates and Senate of Virginia. The DLS has provided a summary of legislation considered by the Virginia General Assembly during the 2017 Regular Session. If you are interested in viewing this summary, you may do so by clicking here.
April Is Virginia Vineyard Month
April 1st marks the beginning of Virginia Vineyard Month. We are fortunate to have a some of the best vineyards in the Commonwealth right here in the 25th District. I have them listed below and would encourage you to visit one should you have the opportunity. You can view a list of events associated with April is Virginia Vineyard Month here.
Barren Ridge Vineyards - Fishersville
Bluestone Vineyard - Bridgewater
CrossKeys Vineyards - Mount Crawford
Grace Estate Winery - Crozet
King Family Vineyards - Crozet
Knight’s Gambit Vineyard - Charlottesville
Marceline Vineyards - Mount Crawford
Meriwether Springs Vineyard - Charlottesville
Pollack Vineyards - Greenwood
Stinson Vineyards - Crozet
Turk Mountain Vineyards - Afton
Valley Road Vineyards - Afton
White Hall Vineyards - Crozet
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Thank you again for allowing me to serve as your Delegate.