The General Assembly gaveled in for a Special Session this week. Governor Northam called us to Richmond to allocate federal relief funds made available to Virginia through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and to appoint judges. As Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, my aim is to deliver over $3 billion in federal aid as quickly and responsibly as possible.
The State of the Budget
Though the stimulus package is contained in a budget bill – House Bill 7001 – it does not touch Virginia tax dollars in the General Fund or make any withdrawals from our revenue reserves. The bill passed the House of Delegates on Wednesday with strong bipartisan approval.
The Senate opted to make several amendments to the legislation which sent it to a “conference committee”: a bipartisan group of delegates and senators tasked with resolving the two chambers’ differences. Thankfully, the conference committee quickly reached an agreement and reported the compromise budget on Friday evening. See the amendments adopted by the conference committee here. Members of the House and Senate will return to Richmond on Monday to vote on the final bill. Hopefully the budget will be approved without further delay.
Remembering Al Brooks
On Tuesday the House of Delegates passed a resolution celebrating the life of Al Brooks, a member of the Woodbridge community and passionate advocate for civil rights and political participation. Mr. Brooks’ legacy will live on through the generations of young African American leaders he inspired in Prince William County and throughout Virginia. Read his memorial resolution here.
I encourage you to contact my office with any questions or feedback on the proposed budget. You can always reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-785-2224. The number for my Capitol office is 804-698-1052.