FROM THE DESK of DELEGATE ROSLYN TLER
The General Assembly is a 60 day Session that commenced on January 8, 2020 and scheduled to adjourn Sine Die on March 7, 2020. There has been a historic number of legislation introduced by Delegates and Senators this session. Over 3,419 bills were introduced on varies topics including early childhood education, casinos implementation, gun safety, election reform, increasing the minimal wage, transportation, hemp regulations, decriminalizing marijuana, redistricting and clean energy initiatives.
The General Assembly has reached the point of Crossover on February 17, 2020. The House of Delegates and Senate passed budget bill HB 20 and HB 30 on February 20, 2020 which is quite different from the Governor Ralph Northam’s budget. The House proposed budget includes incentives to hold down the cost of college tuition, increase salaries for teachers, correction officers, state police and state supported employees, addressing food deserts, K-12 education funding and additional school counselors.
As the chairperson of the Education Committee, I am pleased that Virginia continues to focus on our educational priorities and Virginia remaining as one of the best state to educate a child. Our school divisions will receive a proposed increase in funding for at- risk add-on to assist students from low income families. Also, increasing the average student per pupil direct aid from $6,297-$6,421 will help our rural school division due to the loss of student population A final budget has not been completed at this time. However, one will be compromised and passed by the last day of session that will go into effect on July 1, 2020.
I have worked hard this session to address the shortage of correctional officers and introduced legislation that would benefit the forestry industry and changes with career technical education credits.
You may track legislation on the General Assembly Website at www.virginiageneralassembly.gov or live stream our sessions. However, should you need my assistance, my legislative assistant is Belinda Astrop. The telephone number at the Richmond Office is 804 698-1075 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.