It was a busy start to the first week of the 2015 legislative Session. This year is a shorter, 45-day legislative session, but my colleagues and I in the House of Delegates are offering a robust agenda that will prepare Virginia for long-term growth. The 2015 Session gaveled into order on a cold and icy Wednesday morning. It was quite the challenge for many people to get to the General Assembly due to terrible driving conditions, but despite the weather we promptly came to order.
However, please take a moment to fill out my 2015 Legislative Survey. This survey is a means by which the constituents can directly voice their opinions about topics that will be of importance this session. It can be found on my Delegate Facebook page or on my website; Mattfariss.com. Thank you for your time and input.
Tradition and Chamber Ceremony is the standing order of business on the first day of session. Any newly elected officials are sworn into office, and the day concludes with the Governor’s State of the Commonwealth Address. This year the House of Delegates swore in five new members due to a number of retirements and special elections. The Speaker of the House also listed his changes to Committee Assignments. No changes were made to my committees; therefore, I remain on Finance, Agriculture Chesapeake and Natural Resources, and Militia Police and Public Safety. I look forward to representing the 59th district on each of these committees.
The first day of Session concluded with the Governor’s First State of the Commonwealth Address since taking office. His full address to the House chamber can be found at governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/videos/governor-mcauliffe-delivers-state-of-the-commonwealth-address/ . The Governor outlined his Legislative agenda and touted his current success of bringing jobs to the Commonwealth. A large portion of his speech focused on his ideas on how to fix the budget. The legislative response to the Governor’s address was given by Delegate Ransone and Senator McWaters. This video can be found at http://www.vahousegop.com/. I encourage you to watch this video, and hear about the robust agenda the Legislature has planned for this Session. I am also optimistic that the Legislature will complete a budget that will help Virginia weather a tough revenue season and a down turn in our economy. I will keep the District informed as to how this budget process is completed.
The first week of Session is also a period in which Legislative Drafts and Agendas are finalized. Friday marked the last day for a draft request for new legislation. It is also a time period in which Legislation is referred by the Speaker to a Committee. It is fairly rare for bills to be heard the first week. However, I am happy to announce that my first bill has reported from subcommittee. HB 1545 reported from Courts: sub-committee Civil Law with a 9-0 vote. This is the very first step in a long process, but I am happy to get started off with a quick success. I will continue to keep you posted on important legislation as Session continues to play out. And Please. Make sure you come visit me in Richmond if you find that you have the time.
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 [email protected].