General Assembly session update
Published 1:48 pm Saturday, February 10, 2018
The 2018 General Assembly session is nearing our halfway mark as crossover is just days away! The House is making progress on several key issues as we prepare to begin considering legislation passed by the Senate. Tuesday is the last day for the House to act on its legislation.
Gov. Northam and Speaker Cox Announce Bipartisan Compromise on Regulatory Reform Legislation
One of my biggest priorities has always been ensuring there is less government intrusion on your everyday life. On Monday, Speaker Kirk Cox reached an agreement with Gov. Northam to establish a regulatory reform pilot program with a goal to reduce or streamline regulatory requirements by 25 percent over the next three years. This bipartisan legislation will show hard working entrepreneurs, innovators, and small and large businesses that removing bureaucratic red tape that hinders the creation of good paying jobs is important.
We’ve seen positive effects of regulatory reform on our national economy during the last year, and this pilot program, which was the idea of my colleague Delegate Michael Webert, has the potential to reap positive benefits for Virginians for years.
I am very excited about this program and I look forward to it removing many of the barriers that holds back development and job creation.
House Republicans stand up against Senate Democrats so-called ‘Uber Tax’
Last week I spoke out in the House Finance Committee about the ‘Netflix Tax’ that would have imposed a tax on streaming services like Netflix and Pandora, which were subsequently defeated bills. Now, Democrats have been suggested implementing a tax on popular rideshare services like Uber and Lyft.
This time I spoke before the entire House Chamber against the Uber Tax, you can watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEtpD2glfGM. This is just getting out of hand. You work hard for your money and I believe you should be able to keep it. We should be working towards solutions that attract people and business to the Commonwealth, not drive them away. Pun intended. Immediate taxation towards emerging industries and technologies stifles opportunity for the Commonwealth.
House Bill 241 – A bill that reduces from three years to two, the amount of time a child must continuously reside in the home of a close relative before adoption proceedings can begin. HB241 is one of roughly a dozen bills that has already passed both the House of Delegates and the State Senate and it passed both chambers with unanimous support. Next stop is the Governor’s desk to be signed in to law.
House Bill 525 – Each year there are many bills that get put to the side because situations relating to changes in the Code of Virginia and, specifically, criminal matters are very serious. HB525 was one of the bills.
I went to work explaining why this bill is incredibly important and trying to secure funding for this commonsense legislation. This bill removes the misdemeanor carve-out for bail bondsmen who commit a Carnal Knowledge sexual offense and makes it a Class 6 Felony. They should be held to the same standards as the rest of the law enforcement and correctional officers community. HB525 was reported unanimously, 8-0, out of the House Courts of Justice Criminal Sub-committee today and will likely be headed to the House Floor next week.
House Bill 1333 – This is another piece of adoption and foster care legislation that is part of the reforms I am working towards. HB1333 would establish the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program that takes funds already made available to foster care homes and re-directs it to prospective parents who are willing to take a closely related child out of a foster care home and take them in instead. Placing a child with their kin instead of into a foster care home with a stranger provides children with comfort, stability, and better options for permanency.
This afternoon, HB1333 reported out of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Resources for the first time after having been introduced multiple times in years prior. HB1333 reported unanimously, 8-0, and will likely be headed to the House Floor next week. The Senate version of this bill passed the Senate unanimously and Governor Northam has already said he supports this legislation and looks forward to it arriving at his desk.
I encourage you to keep in touch with me and my office over the coming months. I value the feedback you provide on a continual basis as it helps me do a better job of representing you. You can email me at DelEBrewer@House.Virginia.Gov or call me at (804) 698-1064. You can also join the conversation on our social media pages, Facebook.com/BrewerForVA or Twitter.com/BrewerForVA.
I will continue providing you Updates during the 2018 General Assembly Session and will be meeting with constituent groups after Session to report on the Session and take questions.