Legislative Update

As we head toward crossover one of the hottest, most controversial issues in the General Assembly is the Casino bill. My phone and email have been lighting up with constituent comments — all of them negative. Yesterday afternoon Senator Jennifer Boysko, Delegates Irene Shin and Karen Keys-Gamarra, Fairfax Supervisor Jimmy Bierman, and I convened a town hall at Mclean High School regarding the proposed Fairfax County casino. The auditorium was packed and your voices were loud and clear. “No Casino!” And all five of us on the stage made very clear our opposition to the proposal as well. Click here to watch the Washington NBC News4 story about the town hall.

Many of my bills so far have been uncontested or drew little debate on the floor. My HB110, however, drew strong opposition this week. The bill modernizes Virginia’s surrogacy law and does away with unnecessary provisions that put a chill on Virginians’ ability to start or grow their families through surrogacy. I have broadened this part of the code in the past with Jacob’s Law, which made surrogacy available to same-sex couples. Then and now the opposition was led by organizations that are opposed to even the idea of surrogacy. HB110 is a pro-family bill, and I am pleased to report that despite the opposition it passed on a party-line vote. Click here to see my speech on the floor.

HB783 is a bill I brought on behalf of my friends at the Virginia Family Law Coalition. The bill modernizes our adoption statutes by making them gender-neutral. I am pleased to report that HB783 passed the House unanimously.

Next week will be the last week bills can be voted on in subcommittees or committees before crossover. I have numerous energy and environmental bills on my docket this session, and I am busy negotiating with stakeholders and advocates on several of those bills. Next week will be a big week for these bills. One in particular is HB638. Known as the Affordable, Reliable, Competitive Act (ARC), HB638 aims to inject more competition into Virginia’s clean energy sector. Now that the VCEA has Virginia headed in the right direction with our clean energy transition, it is time to hit the accelerator. Thanks to increased federal support from the Inflation Reduction Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and technological innovations, clean energy is increasingly more affordable and reliable. HB638 will expand opportunities for independent third-party electricity generators — basically, private energy companies — to compete to provide energy to Virginia’s power grid. The bill is working its way through the process. Stay tuned.

To see an op-ed in the Richmond Times Dispatch I wrote with Senator Ghazala Hashmi, pointing out the importance of the ARC Act, please click here.

I am very disappointed to report that my HB644, a bill which would simply have given localities the option to regulate gas-powered leaf blowers, did not have enough support to get to the floor for a vote. The bill was re-referred and sent back to committee, killing it for this year. I’ll try again next session.

We witnessed another bit of history this week: At times, when the Speaker is not present or simply needs a break, the Majority Leader takes the gavel and presides over the House as Acting Speaker. On Friday we all were able to witness an awesome–even for a brief– moment when Majority Leader Charniele Herring took over as Acting Speaker.

Another first.

Thursday I was pleased to meet with members from Advanced Energy United. Advanced Energy United (AEU) is a trade association representing over 100 companies committed to accelerating our clean energy transition. AEU has been a great partner in working on clean energy issues.

I also met with constituents who are members of the American Association of University Women–an outstanding organization dedicated to advocating for women and girls.

One more week until crossover! Stay tuned for updates next week.


Rip Sullivan

Delegate, 6th District 

C: 571-210-5876