Fast start to ‘Short Session’

Published 8:54 am Friday, January 30, 2009

The 2009 Virginia General Assembly Session commenced on Wednesday, Jan. 14, in Richmond.

This year’s session will be 45 days. It is called the “Short Session” on Capitol Hill.

While in session, I have temporarily closed my district office in Emporia until March 9. You are welcome to contact me at the General Assembly.

During the first week everyone was ecstatic over the inauguration of our 44th president, Barack Obama, in Washington. However, business was conducted as usual.

Delegate Onzlee Ware, D-Roanoke, and I introduced a bill to the Privileges and Elections Subcommittee of the Constitutional Committee on the restoration of rights for non-violent offenders. The purpose of House Bill 628 is to allow the General Assembly to restore civil rights to nonviolent offenders, once they have met their requirements and fines have been paid.

Civil rights include the right to vote, the right to run for office and to serve on a jury or serve as a notary republic. House Bill 628 passed out of subcommittee with a vote of 4-3. Now, the bill is referred to the Privileges and Elections full committee for a vote.

Next week I will have bills coming up in the Health/Welfare and Transportation committees.

Should you have any concerns regarding the 75th District or legislation in committee, please feel free to contact me or my legislative assistants, Yvonne Rose, Linda B. Richardson or Mary Beth Washington.