A report from the Virginia General Assembly

Published 10:07 am Wednesday, February 25, 2015

by Roslyn Tyler

On the first day of the 2015 Virginia General Assembly Session, it was a privilege to offer the opening prayer at the Annual Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast with over 900 hundred Virginians in attendance. For the expeditious, short 46-day session, House of Delegates Representatives introduced 978 bills and the Senate introduced 825 bills by the first day of session. The Virginia General Assembly has now reached the midpoint of the 2015 legislative session known as the “Cross Over.” I would like to inform you of the most important legislative actions and update you on my legislation that was passed by the House of Delegates and the Senate.

HB 1400 (Budget)

The House passed a budget bill that did not go far enough to in addressing the areas of pre-k education, increasing teacher’s salaries to the national average or expanding Medicaid that would assist 400,000 Virginians with health care insurance and creating over 30,000 jobs in the process. However, the proposed budget did include $55 million for a 1.5 percent raise for teachers and employees and an additional pay increase for other state employees. Additionally, the starting salary — $28,035 — for correctional officers was increased by $1,000, which will benefit new correctional officers employed by the Department of Corrections. The final budget has not been approved. It is now in the conferee committee and will receive the final vote on next week.

Listed below are my legislation that has passed the Senate and House and will become law following veto session and July 1, after signature of Governor Terry McAuliffe:


HB 1288

It will allow the Town of Branchville Council Members to be elected in the 2015 November General Election for 4-year terms.


HB 1374

This will allow all disabled veterans with service-connected disability to purchase a disabled license plates. Under current law only 100 percent disabled veterans were allowed to have the special disabled veteran license plate.


HB 1484

This will conform the state code to allow all Board of Supervisors and municipalities to approve their school budget by May 15 of each year.


HB 2255

The state has approved a parcel of land that was owned by the Department of Corrections to the Town of Lawrenceville to maintain their water booster and storage tank for future economic development.

Additionally, my budget amendment was included in the state budget to restore the revenue of $190,000 for the coyote control program that is a serious problem in our rural counties.

We have only a week left in session if we finish on time. It is a pleasure to serve you in Richmond. As always please do not hesitate to contact my office should you have any questions.

ROSLYN TYLER is the Democratic delegate for the 75th district. She can be contacted at 804-698-1075 or delrtyler@house.virginia.gov.