We are nearing the end of the 2023 General Assembly session. This week we’ve heard from members of the other chamber as they presented their bills to House committees and have been working hard to prepare a final budget. We have until February 25th to finish all regular work before we adjourn sine die.
On Friday, my bill (House Bill 1828) passed the Senate unanimously and is now headed to the Governor for his signature. This bill will allow the Department of Conservation and Recreation to grant and convey an easement and right-of-way over Neabsco Beach Way at Leesylvania State Park to the River Mouth Corporation.
On Wednesday, the primary budget bill – HB1400 – was sent into a “committee of conference” after the House of Delegates and state Senate disagreed on identical funding policies. I was appointed to represent the House in budget negotiations along with Delegates Mark Sickles, Barry Knight, Terry Austin, Robert Bloxom, and Emily Brewer. The Senate conferees are Senators Janet Howell, George Barker, Richard Saslaw, Mamie Locke, Louise Lucas, Emmett Hanger, Steve Newman, and Tommy Norment.
The fourteen of us will work together to resolve discrepancies between the two chambers’ different versions of the Commonwealth’s budget. The final version of the budget – ideally, one that the majority of both chambers of the General Assembly can agree to – should be reported and voted on before the 2023 Session ends on February 25th.
You can view every version of the state budget, as well as every budget amendment that has been submitted, at budget.lis.virginia.gov.
The National Coalition of 100 Black Women
I hosted the National Coalition of 100 Black Women’s Prince William Chapter on Thursday for their annual lobby day. The chapter heard from many members of the General Assembly and Governor’s Administration, including the Secretary of Health and Human Resources John Littel, Speaker Todd Gilbert, and Minority Leader Don Scott. During their time in Richmond, they advocated for adequate healthcare, fair housing, increased funding for minority businesses, suicide prevention, and diversity in education.
I joined Governor Glenn Youngkin; Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine; Representatives Abigail Spanberger, Gerry Connolly, and Don Beyer; and many local officials to speak on why Virginia is the right choice for the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s new headquarters. We all know that by working together, we can show that the Commonwealth is the best choice for the FBI.
This week my team and I met with President Washington of George Mason University, Superintendent Wins of the Virginia Military Institute, President Sands of Virginia Tech, members from James Madison University, Rabbi Jeffrey Saxe of Temple Rodef Shalom, members of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), members of SEIU Virginia 512, and the Virginia Interfaith Center, to name a few of the fabulous groups to stop by this week.
Powells Creek Bridge Rehabilitation
Work is underway to rehabilitate the northbound and southbound I-95 general purpose lanes bridges over Powells Creek to improve safety and extend the overall life of the bridges, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. The bridges, located around mile marker 155 between the Dale City Truck-Only Safety Rest Areas and Cardinal Drive, were built in 1963, repaired in 1976, and widened in 1981 and 1996. The date for completion by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is the summer of 2024.
The project includes repairing steel beams and concrete abutments, and piers, replacing bearings, closing deck joints, and repainting the bridges. In addition, the deck of the northbound general-purpose lanes bridge will be resurfaced.
Some day and overnight lane closures may be scheduled during the project on the northbound and southbound general-purpose lanes bridges.
Drivers are reminded to use caution when traveling in active work zones. Be alert to new traffic patterns and limit distractions.
If you have any questions or comments about the General Assembly Session, please get in touch with my office at email@example.com or 703-785-2224.