This past week was a productive week for the House of Delegates. In addition to finishing our committee work, we are reviewing amendments from the Senate, as well as wrapping up our work on the budget. The 2016 General Assembly adjourned Friday. For the second year in a row, the Republican-led General Assembly finished its work early – a stark contrast to how business is done in Washington. The early adjournment will save taxpayers over $25,000.
The House of Delegates worked tirelessly to strengthen Virginia’s economy to help middle class families, improve our education system so all children have the opportunity to succeed, and chart a responsible fiscal course for the future. We continue to offer a positive governing vision for our Commonwealth.
To help strengthen Virginia’s economy, the House of Delegates rolled back the accelerated sales tax on 90 percent of Virginia businesses, and resisted President Obama’s job killing and unconstitutional EPA regulations.
Improving our education system is a top priority for the House of Delegates. The House passed legislation to create Education Savings Accounts for parents and took steps to finalize the establishment of Virginia’s virtual school. This legislation, combined with our investments in public schools, will help make sure all children have the opportunity to succeed.
The General Assembly also reached a bipartisan agreement to restore concealed carry reciprocity following Attorney General Herring’s announcement to rescind those agreements. The major bipartisan agreement restores and expands concealed carry reciprocity to every state in the nation with a concealed carry law. I am proud of our work to secure the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding concealed carry permit holders.
One of the most important tasks of the General Assembly is crafting the two-year state budget. I am proud to report that our budget passed by a wide bipartisan margin in the House. The Senate also passed their version of the two-year budget. This week, members of the various budget conferences have worked to reconcile the differences between the two budgets. The House remains committed to conservative principles and ensuring the final budget does not contain any tax or fee increases, reduces the amount of bond borrowing, and increases the Commonwealth's "rainy day fund" that acts as a savings account. I am confident we will pass a budget before the General Assembly adjourns.
It is a privilege to represent you in the Virginia House of Delegates. I encourage you to keep in touch with me and my office over the coming months. I value the feedback you provide as it helps me do my job representing you better. If there is anything my office can assist with, please contact my Aide, Jenna, at [email protected] or call our district office at (434) 821-5929. You can also follow my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DelegateMattFariss.