December has finally arrived! As we start this final month of the year, I wanted to take a few minutes of your time to update you on what took place in November. Because there is still a fair amount of work in progress, this will be a shorter update than usual.
I do wish to start this newsletter by acknowledging the passing of Congressman Donald McEachin earlier this week after a long battle with cancer. I hope that you will join me in praying for the McEachin family during this time.
I also wish to thank all of those who put their names forward as candidates for office on Election Day. I congratulate the reelected city council members and newly elected school board members in Colonial Heights and wish them well as they serve our community.
2023 Legislative Session Preview
November was a ‘behind the scenes’ type of month. With the upcoming session, I am busy preparing legislation for introduction.
The House of Delegates and Senate will convene in Richmond on Wednesday, January 11, 2023 for what is known as the “short session.” The short session is projected to last just 46 days, as opposed to the regular 60 days in an even numbered year. Due to the short nature of session, the House Rules limit Delegates to introducing just 15 bills.
With the 15 bill limit, it’s important that legislators communicate so that several individuals don’t end up carrying the same bill. And because of the condensed timeline of session, it is imperative that any bill is ready for prime time when it is introduced. I’ve been working closely with staff attorneys at the Division of Legislative Services (DLS) to get my legislation ready for introduction, and I hope to share more about some of the bills I will be introducing in my end of December update. (You may recall a bill support retired law enforcement canines in last month’s update. You can read that here.)
When the legislature meets in January, we will consider literally hundreds of bills. Of those bills, I expect several will be very high profile debates. I expect the House and Senate to consider additional tax relief legislation, and significant mental health proposals. It is also likely that the legislature will consider bills that will reform the state’s murky marijuana laws.
Around the District
November started with Election Day. While the results weren’t exactly what I had hoped for, I enjoyed traveling around the district and speaking with voters at polls. Thanks to the election officials who worked to ensure a smooth day.
On Veterans Day, I joined veterans in Colonial Heights and Chesterfield for ceremonies that recognized their significant contributions to our country.
I was privileged to be in attendance at the 345th Tax Tribute Ceremony at the Executive Mansion in Richmond. This ceremony comes from the 1677 Treaty of Middle Plantation and includes the offering of fresh game in lieu of taxes. Virginia’s 11 state recognized tribes were represented at the ceremony.
It’s an honor to represent our community in the House of Delegates. If I can ever assist you or your family with a state-related matter, please let me know.