The General Assembly is a week away from the conclusion of the 2014 session. The House of Delegates and Virginia Senate are considering a number of amendments to bills that passed earlier in the session.
I’d like to thank everyone who has contacted my office by phone, email, or letter during the past few weeks to express views on a wide range of issues before the General Assembly this year. It is very helpful to know the opinions of residents of the 67th district on legislation during the session. I can assure you that every comment and idea sent to me is taken into account.
Of the bills and resolutions I introduced this year, five have passed the House and Senate. I am optimistic that up to five more will pass both houses by the end of next week. You can review all of the legislation I have introduced this year here.
Three bills that have received considerable attention in the General Assembly, which I introduced and hope will pass next week are:
House Bill 439—expanding the state’s Whistle Blower Protection Act to all citizens of Virginia, as a way of better fighting waste, fraud, and abuse of tax dollars. The Senate approved this bill with a minor amendment, which the House should approve on Monday. I was interviewed recently by a Richmond TV station about this bill, and the interview aired this past week indicating the need for this legislation.You can watch the interview here.
House Bill 791—the Senate and House have passed different versions of this bill, which aims to protect residents living in homeowner’s and condominium associations in two ways. First, the bill aims to permit better enforcement of association rules against rule violators, especially in ways that can reduce home values of the neighbors of the violator. The bill also aims to protect homeowners from overly aggressive enforcement of association rules in ways that don’t give homeowners a reasonable opportunity to correct problems. I will be working to craft a House-Senate compromise next week to pass before the end of the session, which is set for March 8th.
House Bill 1212—The Senate General Laws Committee will hold a hearing on this bill on Monday afternoon. HB 1212 would prohibit the Governor and his political associates from accepting gifts or campaign contributions from a business that is under consideration for an economic development grant or loan from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund.
House Bill 30/State Budget—House and Senate negotiators are working to draft a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the budget, which is scheduled to be completed next week for a final vote. It is possible that the issue of Medicaid expansion may delay completion of the budget in time. If so, the 2014 session may be extended beyond next week specifically for the purpose of completing the budget.