Session Update: January 13, 2023

And…. we’re off!

The first week of a General Assembly session is always very busy. Especially during a short session, since we will accomplish more in the next six weeks than some other state legislatures accomplish in two years. The velocity is remarkable.

Before the session started, I held a press conference on Tuesday with Delegate Lee Ware (R) Senator Creigh Deeds (D), and Senator—soon to be Congresswoman—Jennifer McClellan (D), discussing what may be my most important bill of the session: HB1604—the Affordable Energy Act. Saving families money on their electric bills is neither controversial nor partisan. At least it shouldn’t be.

The Affordable Energy Act addresses Virginian’s energy burden by restoring the authority of the State Corporation Commission to adjust electricity rates. The bill does not mandate any outcome. Rather, it simply provides a fail-safe ability for the SCC to determine fair and reasonable electricity rates, while preserving the utilities’ ability to recover costs and earn fair rate of return. I am pleased that this is a bipartisan bill. I hope Governor Youngkin agrees. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and in both Chambers, to get this bill passed and signed into law. Please click here to view an article, from the Virginia Mercury, highlighting the Affordable Energy Act.

I have introduced 14 bills so far. They deal primarily with energy, civil rights, gun safety, and transportation. I will outline my bills in more detail in my next session update.

Governor Youngkin gave his second State of the Commonwealth address on Wednesday. It seemed more like a campaign speech to me.

It is clear already that the House Republicans will continue their efforts to roll back the progress our Democratic Majority made when we had the majority. Legislation has already been introduced to repeal the Virginia Clean Economy Act, the Clean Cars initiative, the Red Flag law, and to dictate what women can do with their bodies. In all likelihood they will all pass the House. This session will look much like last session, and we will defend our progress again.

I’m ready to go.

The first order of business in the House of Delegates was actually to swear in our new members. We were pleased to welcome, Holly Seibold, who won her special election and took her oath of office. I know she’ll be an outstanding representative of the 35th District—just as was her predecessor Delegate Mark Keam.

Come see us in Richmond if you are able. And stay tuned for updates next week.