Hello to the People of the 33rd District!
We are about 3.5 weeks into an 8.5-week session. One week from tomorrow is the day when all legislation must cross over from the House to the Senate if it is to go forward in the 2018 Session of the VA Legislature.
The House has already passed several major pieces of legislation, and we look forward to that work continuing.
House Republicans are leading by example in passing a bill by Delegate Roxanne Robinson which will require sexual harassment prevention training for all General Assembly employees. The extensive course will be administered by the Clerk of the House and the Clerk of the Senate. Republicans unanimously voted for the bill, while 10 Democrats voted against it.
House Republicans Kill Proposed Tax Hike
Republicans in the House once again stood up for Virginia taxpayers Monday, killing a bill to raise taxes on hardworking Virginians. House Bill 1051 was introduced by Democrat Delegate Vivian Watts and would have instituted a tax on streaming video services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora. This bill would have disproportionately affected millennials who enjoy these streaming services, as well as every family who enjoys a movie night together at home. Republicans unanimously voted to defeat the tax increase proposal. Over the past 15 years, the Republican-led House has defeated more than $30 billion in tax increases.
Reforming State Board of Elections to Guarantee Non-partisan Administration of Elections
On Thursday, we passed legislation reforming the State Board of Elections to guarantee the nonpartisan administration of elections in the Commonwealth. Why is this important? As we saw this past election cycle with Delegate Bob Thomas, the State Board of Elections, which is controlled by Democrats, delayed Thomas’s election certification on a party line vote. It took a federal judge intervening to force the board to declare Thomas the rightful winner. If the board was evenly split, those decisions would not be partisan.
So far this Session, the legislature has acted favorably on several pieces of legislation I have introduced
Listed below are links to bill status and some of the media coverage of those bills. Toll relief and Metro funding decisions will affect commuters and those are a top priority.
My bill which will help those on the front lines of the opioid epidemic passed with unanimous bipartisan support in the House and is on its way to the Senate. I'm grateful for committed advocates like constituent Lisa Wilkins of Berryville (photo at right), who brought the need for this legislation to my attention.
The constitutional amendment I patroned establishing a lockbox on transportation funds passed out of the full Transportation Committee and will head to the House this week. A bill which could have a huge impact on expansion of rural broadband is being taken very seriously. That bill will receive closer scrutiny this summer by the Broadband Advisory Commission.
I’ve proposed the repeal of an outdated law which prohibits weapons in places of worship. It astounds me that our governor might not be willing to clear the way for the people of Virginia to have the same protection in a place of worship that he enjoys.
This poster was unrolled in the committee meeting that moved this repeal bill forward to the floor of the House.
And last, but not least, a bill targeting human trafficking and child exploitation received a full and fair hearing. It will not go forward this year, but is an extremely well placed and strategically crafted bill to curb these harmful activities which take an enormous personal and economic toll on all Americans. You can understand the bill by watching this video: Human Trafficking And Child Exploitation Prevention Act - Part 1
I look forward to providing you with more updates as we continue working through the 2018 General Assembly Session!
I have enjoyed seeing many of you visit me at my Capitol Office, and I hope more will continue to stop by over the course of the 2018 General Assembly Session. As always, I value the feedback you provide on a continual basis as it helps me do a better job of representing you. You can email me at DelDLaRock@house.virginia.gov or call me at
804-698-1033. You can also join the conversation on our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.
Links of Interest:
Conservative Caucus press conference with Del. Ben Cline
Visitors from the NAACP
Barbara Bosserman, Clarke County General Registrar and
Director of Elections
Loudoun County School Board members Eric DeKenipp (Catoctin) and
Jill Turgeon (Blue Ridge)