Starting NOW – 400th session of Virginia’s General Assembly – amazingly older than Congress (1619-2019)
Take a guess how many bills will be introduced this session? About 3,000 (and this is a short session). Here’s what YOU need to know:
BUDGET SHOCK. There’s 1.2 Billion in unexpected revenue (thanks to federal tax changes) that the legislature hadn’t planned for when they enacted the budget last year. What are we going to do with this windfall? Do we invest in our infrastructure, i.e., Broadband, Roads, Cleaning the Chesapeake Bay, Schools, Teacher Salaries? Watch for a HUGE tug o’war on the budget.
GAMBLING. Sports betting is now legal throughout the US due to the Supreme Court overturning federal law that essentially banned it in most states. Are we going to allow sports betting in Virginia? Will we allow various casinos to pop up around the commonwealth? Watch for campaign donations to sitting Delegates and Senators related to this topic.
ERA. Virginia has an historic opportunity here. It could be the final state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Statewide citizen support and signs of bipartisan legislative support is encouraging. However, getting it to the floor for a vote seems unlikely. Republicans assigned the ERA to Mark Cole’s Privileges and Elections Committee where it has died before.
BACKDROP: Redistricting (despite the GOPs best efforts) of racially gerrymandered districts around Richmond is definitely happening before the next statewide election. The redrawing of those lines could really shake up the 2019 election cycle. It will shape what bills will live and die this session.