Spring days – and the allergies that come with it – are here. It’s sometimes hard to believe how quick we swap the jackets and gloves for shorts and t-shirts. You’ve just gotta love Virginia weather!
Even though the regular session of the General Assembly wrapped up in late February, there is still quite a bit going on in your state government. In this e-newsletter, I will provide a brief update on the recent Reconvene Session and several of my bills that have been signed by Governor Youngkin. I hope you find this update informative and useful.
During the month of April, the General Assembly met for its constitutionally required Reconvene Session (also referred to as the Veto Session). During our session, the House and Senate had the opportunity to override any vetoes made by the Governor and consider his proposed amendments to bills that had passed.
The Governor vetoed three bills, with all three vetoes being sustained (not overridden) by the General Assembly.
The Governor’s proposed amendments can generally be put in two categories–technical amendments and substantive amendments. The technical amendments are typically adopted in a block. This was again the case during the most recent Reconvened Session.
The set of proposed amendments that received the most attention dealt with hemp and THC. The main takeaways are that there is still no approved retail marijuana sales and the Assembly passed legislation to significantly limit the unregulated Delta 8 products that had been marketed to kids. These products were styled after many popular snacks and candies, yet contained an intoxicating amount of synthetic THC. This approved amendment makes our communities safer, and I was glad to support the Governor’s amendment.
The General Assembly did not handle budgetary matters during this Reconvene Session. We expect to return later this year for a special session to complete additional amendments to the state budget. There is no risk of a state government shutdown as the biennial budget adopted in 2022 is still in effect. I will share additional information on any special session once it becomes available.
I am pleased to share that Governor Youngkin signed a number of my bills into law.
House Bill 1699 will make strides in our fight against human trafficking. Last summer, detectives with the Colonial Heights Police Department reached out to me after an undercover operation where an individual sought to purchase a 14-year old girl. Because no specific threats were mentioned by the buyer, however, no crime was committed. This bill now clarifies Virginia law to state that the sale or purchase of a minor child, regardless of threats of sexual violence, is a felony.
House Bill 2238 provides incentives to LEGO for their new manufacturing plant in Chesterfield. LEGO will invest over $1 billion and create more than 1,700 new jobs in our community. In addition to the bill signing, LEGO broke ground on their 1.7 million square foot facility in Meadowville Technology Park.
New Driver’s Licenses
This month, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced redesigned driver’s licenses and ID cards that include enhanced security features. The new cards include background images of Virginia icons, including the State Capitol Rotunda, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly (state insect) and the American Dogwood (state flower).
Cards using the older design will remain valid until the printed expiration date.
You can view a sample driver’s license using the new design here.
Chesterfield Treasurer’s Satellite Office
The Chesterfield Treasurer’s Office will open a temporary satellite office in the old Matoaca Elementary School (6627 River Road). This satellite office will be open from 9am to 4pm from May 30th through June 5th. This provides county residents another convenient opportunity to submit property tax payments. For questions, reach out to the Treasurer’s Office at (804) 748-1201 or email@example.com.
Thank you to Treasurer Rebecca Longnaker for her efforts to make local government more accessible!
Around the District
April was a busy month! Here’s a few pictures from events I attended around the district.
Thank you to Linda Hawkins and Recover Hope for organizing a productive roundtable discussion in Chesterfield about human trafficking. We must work collaboratively to both raise awareness about this scourge and support those who escape this situation.
I love the chance to speak to students about state government! This past month, I welcomed students from Woodlake Classical School to the Capitol for a visit and stopped by Lakeview Elementary School for career day.
It remains an honor to represent you and your family in the House of Delegates. If I can ever be of assistance, please let me know.