As we wrap up the third week of session, I have good news to report. Thanks to our conservative budgeting and Virginia’s improving economy, we just got a report that state government revenue has increased beyond our initial projections. I’m going to make sure that this money is used to reduce onerous fees proposed by the government and funds core functions of government, not expand government spending programs.
Companies like Uber and Lyft are changing the way we get around, using new technology to give us more choices. Legislation that allows them to operate in Virginia passed out of the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday and will be coming up for a vote next week. This bill was a result of a compromise between Uber, Lyft, and Taxis. I’m supporting the bill so Virginians can take advantage of new technologies while also making sure that we’re keeping people safe.
Legislation has passed out of committee that expedites the retake of any Standards of Learning (SOL) test, with the exception of the writing SOL assessment, to all students regardless of grade level or course. Currently, expedited retake is only available for assessments that are required for high school graduation.
Additionally, legislation has passed out of committee to reduce the burden of annual accreditation by rewarding schools with a track record of success. Based on criteria established by the Board of Education, a school’s accreditation status may be reviewed once every two years or once every three years, rather than having an annual review for every school. This will allow teachers and administrators to spend more time on student learning and give local leaders needed flexibility without sacrificing accountability in our schools.
Convention of the States
This week, the House Rules Committee passed a resolution calling for an Article V convention of the states. This resolution represents Virginia’s formal application to Congress for a convention of the states to consider amendments to the U.S. Constitution that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress. I support a Convention of the States because it is long past time that we reign in the out-of-control growth of the federal government.
Status of my Legislation
HB 1445 Possession or distribution of marijuana for medical purposes; epilepsy: The bill is currently being heard in the Courts of Justice subcommittee: Criminal Law.
HB 1503 Driving after forfeiture of license; blood alcohol content: The Courts of Justice committee unanimously reported the bill with substitute.
HB 1635 Defamation; statue of limitations: The Courts of Justice committee unanimously reported the bill with substitute.
HB 1499 Right to breast-feed in public places: The Health, Welfare, and Institutions subcommittee #2 unanimously recommends reporting of the bill.
HJ 537 Drug trafficking; interstate cooperation: The bill is currently being heard in the Committee on Rules.
HB 1343 Campus police departments; sexual assault reporting: The bill is currently being heard in the Education subcommittee: Higher Education.
Links of Interest:
My VCTA Cable Reports Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pakad6H3xKM&feature=em-share_video_user
In case you have not completed my survey here is the link to it: http://survey.house.virginia.gov/Survey.aspx?s=0e2175fa7be345e38bbc050212f63693
As always, my staff and I are here in Richmond to serve you. We want to hear what you think about the legislation pending before the House, or if there’s anything we can do to help you in dealing with a state government agency. My office can be reached at (804) 698-1042 or via email at DelDAlbo@house.virginia.gov. If you are planning to visit Richmond during Session, I encourage you to visit me in General Assembly building room 529.