This week we arrived at crossover in the General Assembly, the deadline for consideration of legislation that started in the House. This deadline made for a full schedule on Monday that extended well into the evening. However, the week's activities did not end with crossover. This week the House debated and passed a HB 1400, the House version of the budget.
The budget my colleagues and I passed focused on a specific set of goals. We accomplished spending $1.1 billion dollars less than last year's budget. At the same time we took an approach of having government project pay for projects with existing revenue instead of issuing $42 million dollars in new debt as requested in the Governor's budget. We also added $99.5 million to the rainy day fund to guard against future tax increases. Overall, I am hopeful for Virginia's budget, and I hope Virginia's economy can continue its transition from over relying on Federal Jobs contracts.
After cross over I had a number of bills to report to the Virginia Senate, and were in turn referred to their committees.
This week HB 1724, relating to Forest Products, was referred to Senate Finance. I am happy to announce that not only did the bill report from Senate Finance, but it was also acted upon by the full Senate. This past Friday Hb 1724 passed a unanimous vote in the Senate. This bill has completed its final step in the legislative process, and I look forward to the Governor signing the bill.
I would also like to report that I also had four other bills pass out of Senate Committees. I look forward to HB 1544, HB 1545, HB 1551, and HB 1707 all passing a floor vote in the senate.
I am happy to announce that SB 955, which is the Senate companion bill to HB 1277, not only passed from the House Committee of Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources, but it also passed its Third House reading on Friday. I look forward to the Governor signing this legislation and enabling Virginia to be ready to hemp farm when the Federal Government can successfully pass legislation to rescind the current prohibition.
I am also happy to announce that I had two House Joint Resolutions pass both the House and Senate. HJR 727 and 728 recognized the Nelson County FFA program for their success this year during national competitions. It was great to have Mr. McCann and his student come visit the Capitol to be recognized during session for their hard work and accomplishment.
I would like to thank all the Veterans who have served our country and defended our freedom. I would like to start using this newsletter to recognize returning veterans and service members of the United States Military. Please let us know if you have a loved one who is scheduled to come home and you would like to recognize them for their service.
Additional information about any legislation in the presented in the commonwealth, can be found at lis.virginia.gov. This website is a great resource to the public, and allows for Citizens to easily track and navigate a legislative session. Please contact my office for any help or tips in using this website.
If you have any concerns, questions, comments or issues that I or my Aide, Eric, can help you with, please contact us at 804-698-1059 or email at Delmfariss@house.virginia.gov.