At noon on Wednesday, January 11th, 2017, the House of Delegates was officially gaveled into session by Speaker Howell, marking the 398th year of this legislative body that is the oldest legislative body in the New World. I look forward to serving the citizens of the 10th District and the Commonwealth of Virginia in my third term and sixth year in the General Assembly.
As a part of the opening traditions, the Governor was invited to deliver the annual State of the Commonwealth Address to a joint session of the House and Senate. If you are interested in viewing this address, you may click here. In his remarks, the Governor announced a major economic development project for Frederick County, namely the Navy Federal Credit Union Regional Operations Center, in our 10th District that will bring 1,400 jobs and add over $100 million in tax base to our region. Click here for more information.
Frederick County Board of Supervisors Vice-Chairman Gene Fisher and Navy Federal President and CEO Admiral Cutler Dawson, (USN Ret.) joined by Frederick County Delegates David LaRock, Chris Collins, and Randy Minchew
As a part of the General Assembly’s commitment to transparency and accessibility, a new measure of video archiving of each day's session has been implemented. This new archive, available on the Virginia General Assembly website, will allow the public to view the floor proceedings of the House during the 2017 Session on demand. The House also has created a search feature that will allow viewers to search by bill or by member.
The pace has been brisk in the start of our 45-day “short session” with the critical job of making adjustments to our biennial budget to address a nearly $1.5 billion budget shortfall. Unlike what we see with our federal government, Virginia’s constitution mandates a balanced budget and this past year’s sluggish economy generated less revenue than expected. Our goal is to craft a responsible, conservative budget that strategically invests in the core functions of government while protecting precious taxpayer resources. We will invest in key priorities, but we must do so in a fiscally prudent manner.
In this "short session”, House of Delegates members are limited to filing 15 bills. At this point in time, I have filed 11 of my permitted 15 bills, along with 4 budget amendments and plan to submit another 4 bills by the January 20th deadline. If you are interested in learning more about my proposed legislation, you can visit Virginia’s Legislative Information System to read the bills and chart their progress through the legislative process. I will discuss my legislation in greater detail in my forthcoming newsletters. My committee assignments remain the same as last year and I will serve on the Courts of Justice, Transportation, General Laws, and Privileges and Elections Committees this Session. In addition, I will be chairing the Ethics and Constitutional Amendments Subcommittees this year.
Your views are important to me and your input is useful as I serve you in Richmond. I have an electronic constituent survey that covers many of the legislative issues we may consider during the 2017 Session. I hope you will take a moment to complete my brief 2017 Constituent Survey where there is an optional opportunity to offer comments at the end. Additionally, I will be holding a series of Town Hall Meetings on February 4th throughout our district and I will welcome the opportunity to speak with you directly. Please look for the final details on the times and locations in next week’s newsletter.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any concerns or questions at DelRMinchew@house.virginia.gov or call my Capital Office at (804) 698-1010. My staff this year includes Sr. Legislative Assistant, Tami Davis, and returning Legislative Assistant, Bobby McCurdy. You may visit my website at DelegateRandyMinchew.com or follow me on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates.
Discussing Budget Amendments items with Lord Fairfax Soil & Water Conservation District officers
It is an honor to serve you.