That’s a wrap for 2022! I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year in the House of Delegates and the ability to serve my community in a new way. I am confident that great things are in store for the new year!
In this final update of 2022, I wanted to recap on a few things that happened during the month of December and provide some important information about upcoming events.
Governor’s Proposed Budget
When the General Assembly convenes in January, one of the top items to consider are amendments to the state budget. The process begins each December when the Governor shares his proposed budget with the money committees in the legislature. The House and Senate will use this proposal as a starting point before eventually adopting a single budget proposal that goes to the Governor for signature.
Here’s a few of the highlights from the Governor’s proposal:
- An additional $1 billion in tax cuts on top of the $4 billion adopted earlier this year
- $230 million to jumpstart the Right Help, Right Now plan to overhaul of behavioral health and substance abuse
- Supporting law enforcement through Operation Bold Blue Line, including recruiting 2,000 new law enforcement officers
- New investments in education
- Igniting an all-of-the-above energy plan to ensure reliable, safe, and affordable energy for Virginians
Unlike the federal government, Virginia is constitutionally required to balance its budget. We cannot spend more than we take in. As part of the budgeting process, legislators from both the House and Senate must make the tough decisions on what does and does not merit funding. It is imperative that we in the legislature focus on funding core functions of government like transportation and public safety.
You can read the Governor’s full remarks on the state budget here.
Loudoun County Public Schools Investigation
Shortly after taking the oath of office, Governor Youngkin and Attorney General Miyares began the process of investigating Loudoun County Public Schools administrators for the alleged cover up of a sexual assault case. This was one of their top campaign promises made during the 2021 election.
This month, a grand jury released its report detailing a clear lack of communication and cooperation from the school administration. The full report is available for the public to view here. As a result of this report, charges have been filed against the former Loudoun superintendent and another school employee.
This certainly remains an ongoing case, but it is reassuring to know that our Governor and Attorney General who keep their promises and believe that parents matter.
More Tax Cuts Coming January 1st
During the 2022 legislative session, the House and Senate adopted $4 billion in tax cuts. As part of that tax cut package, we voted to eliminate the state portion of the grocery tax. Starting January 1st, shoppers will no longer pay that extra 1.5% at the supermarket checkout. This only applies to the state portion of the grocery tax; some localities will still charge a 1% tax.
Virginians elected Governor Younkgin and a Republican majority in the House in order to cut taxes for working families. When combined with other tax cuts, this reduction in the grocery tax will make a positive impact on your checkbook.
Old Matoaca Elementary Reuse
Supervisor Kevin Carroll will hold a community meeting on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm to discuss the reuse of the old Matoaca Elementary School. The meeting will take place at the new Matoaca Elementary School located at 20300 Halloway Avenue. This is a follow up to an earlier meeting on the same topic held back in October. The meeting will also be live streamed on the County’s Facebook page.
To learn more about the proposals and to take the community input survey, visit chesterfield.gov/oldmatoacaschool.
A special election for the 4th Congressional District will be held on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 to fill the vacancy created by the death of Representative A. Donald McEachin. Both major parties held party-run primaries during the month of December resulting in the nomination of Republican Leon Benjamin and Democrat Jennifer McClellan.
Here are several important dates for this special election:
- January 7: First day of early voting at your local registrar’s office
- February 11: Registrar’s office open for Saturday early voting
- February 14: Last day to register to vote or update your address before the special election
- February 18: Registrar’s office open for Saturday early voting; last day of early voting
- February 21: Election Day; vote at your regular polling place
In the News
Here’s a few news articles from the last month that you may find of interest:
- NBC12: Lawmakers gear up for start of 2023 Virginia General Assembly
- ABC8: Grocery tax cut takes effect in Virginia New Year’s day
- Virginia Mercury: Youngkin proposes $230 million behavioral health overhaul
- NBC Washington: Former Loudoun County Superintendent Indicted by Special Grand Jury
- Progress-Index: State police asked to investigate reported cover-up of former police chief and softball coach’s behavior
Starting the second week of January, I will send out weekly email updates covering the events of the legislative session. I hope that you will find them informative and useful.
As always, it is an honor to represent you in the House of Delegates. If I can be of service to you, please let me know.
Best wishes to you and your family for a safe and prosperous 2023!