By the end of this week, I expect the General Assembly will have concluded its work for 2015. Differences between amendments to the state budget proposed by the House and Senate are being ironed out for a final vote. House bills are being considered by the Senate, and in some cases are being amended, and vice versa. Currently, 406 bills have passed both chambers and will be sent to Governor McAuliffe for his signature.
As I mentioned in my report last week, ten bills I introduced passed the House of Delegates, all unanimously, and two other bills I introduced were incorporated into other bills. Three of these have already passed the Senate and I expect the remaining to pass next week, as there was little opposition in Senate committees.
Legislation I introduced relates to our priorities in Northern Virginia: transportation, education, fiscal responsibility, and jobs and opportunity, among other issues. I’m particularly pleased that the General Assembly continues to pursue reforming transportation laws to require that projects be selected on the basis of merit, not back room politics. HB 1915, which I authored, is one part of this effort.
Another issue important to our area and state is mental health. I authored HB 1717, which is advancing through the Virginia Senate, and I expect a final vote on Monday. This bill aims to improve access to mental health treatment for teenagers. You can read about the progress of all of the bills I introduced here.
During the legislative session, I have benefited from many calls, email messages, and visits from residents of the 67th district. I thank you if you have contacted me to express your point of view on issues before the General Assembly. Also, I received a record number of responses to my annual constituent survey on various issues. You can read the summary of the survey responses here.
This past Tuesday evening, I held a tele-town hall meeting from the General Assembly Building in Richmond. In case you missed it, a tele-town hall meeting is like a conference call in which residents of the 67th district can ask questions about state public policy and pending legislation. Yesterday, I was interviewed on camera by the Virginia Cable and Telecommunications Association. This 30 minute interview may be found here, and covered many of the issues we discussed during the tele-town hall meeting. I expect the interview will air on TV in Fairfax and Loudoun counties in the near future.