General Assembly session update

Published 12:19 pm Saturday, February 17, 2018

by Emily Brewer

Week 6
We are officially in the second half of the 2018 General Assembly session! Tuesday was “Crossover” which is our “halfway point.” All of the bills passed by the House now head to the Senate for consideration, and we will begin considering all of the bills passed by the Senate. In this newsletter I want to discuss the many accomplishments achieved by the House in just the first half of the 2018 Session. This year we have been focused on passing “Practical Solutions to Everyday Issues.”

Worth Mentioning:
Budgeting Conservatively and Fighting against Tax Increases
One of our biggest accomplishments in the first half of session was defeating $770 million in new taxes increases. These proposals wanted to institute a new tax on Netflix, Pandora, and Hulu and increase taxes on hotel stays and jet skis. They even considered an Uber and Lyft tax. I am committed to keeping taxes low so Virginia businesses can be competitive and families can keep more of their money in their pockets.

Combating the Opioid Crisis
I will not stand idly by as our communities are losing friends and family members to opioid-overdoses. I was glad to be the Chief Co-Patron of House Bill 1469 which would expand the penalty for felony homicide to those that have sold drugs to a person directly resulting in their death. On average, more than three Virginians die each day from this devastating crisis. No one is immune from this addiction, and our legislation takes a proactive approach to helping curb this disease. The House Republican Caucus carried and passed seven pieces of legislation to help end the Opioid Crisis. One bill will create teams to review overdose deaths to better understand how and where they occur. Another bill will also help with caring for infants who are birthed by substance-using women.

Addressing the Teacher Shortage
Virginia is privileged to have one of the best education systems, in large part due to our excellent teachers. But more and more we see our dedicated educators leaving the classroom for other opportunities or worse yet, not pursuing the career at all because of government red tape.
This year, several pieces of legislation have passed the House and will provide individuals an easier path to achieve their career goals. I co-patroned House Bill 3 because it is incredibly important that those taking Dual Enrollment Courses are actually able to receive credit when they transfer to a higher education institution. This bill is in direct response to a problem many Virginia students are experiencing. Three different bills that have also passed this year are designed to specifically address streamlining the teacher licensure process. The bills will allow great teachers to enter a classroom sooner and keep them in the classroom. House Bill 2 also supports our military members by removing burdens that spouses of military members were facing when they moved to Virginia and wanted to continue teaching.

The Budget
The budget will be released on Sunday. We have laid the foundation for adopting a conservative, balanced budget. The budget is one of the most important things we do, and we are committed to balancing the budget on time without a government shutdown. My commitment will be to fund the core functions of government while being a good steward of taxpayer dollars. The budget prioritizes savings, eliminates state liabilities, reduces borrowing and makes key investments in our top priorities.
Read about all of our accomplishments
The topics I have already mentioned are only just a few of the many accomplishments we have passed in the first half of the General Assembly Session.
To read about many more of our accomplishments visit

My Legislation (Summary):
This year, I had SIX House Bills report out of their assigned committees and ALL SIX bills passed the House of Delegates unanimously with broad bi-partisan support. You can read more in depth about how my legislation is progressing at

In closing:
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, or
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.