2018 reconvened session update

Published 11:58 am Saturday, April 21, 2018

by Emily Brewer

The House of Delegates returned on April 11 for Special Session to begin budget discussions with the Senate of Virginia. Those discussions came to a vote this past Wednesday when both the House and Senate returned for Reconvened Session. Both chambers also took up Gov. [Ralph] Northam’s vetoes and recommendations during this time. We have not slowed down at home either. Over the past few weeks I’ve traveled to across the district to provide legislative updates and meet with many constituents, citizen groups and local governments.

Worth Mentioning Special Session
The House adjourned in March before coming to an agreement with the Senate on the Commonwealth’s biennium budget. There were roughly $400 million in differences between the House and Senate budgets. The largest contributor to the gap stems from how each body addressed healthcare reform in Virginia.

The House version included a plan to expand Medicaid, while the Senate budget attempts to provide more conservative reforms to get healthcare to underprivileged communities.

Over the coming weeks the House and Senate will return to put the budget into conference to discuss how to hammer out the differences.

Reconvened Session

On Wednesday, the House gathered for Reconvened Session to discuss vetoes and recommendations. Over the last few months the governor vetoed 10 bills and recommended amendments to 60 bills that were passed earlier this year. Of those 8 vetoes and 32 amendments were specific to the House of Delegates.

Most of the amendments were accepted as they were simply technical in nature, with the exception of redistricting, the coal tax credit, and Metro tax increases.The House failed to override his veto of Del. Cline’s, R-Amherst, sanctuary cities bill. You can view a full list of the vetoes and amendments at dls.virginia.gov/pubs_vetoes.html.

My Legislation
This year I had six pieces of legislation pass the House and all six passed unanimously with bi-partisan support. You can read more about them at lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?181+mbr+H291C. HB 525 would have increased the penalty for certain sexual offenses committed by bail bondsmen (to hold to the same standard as the law enforcement community,) unfortunately failed to make it past the Senate Finance Committee.

I had five pieces of legislation make it to the governor’s desk and he has already signed all five of them. Most laws passed this year will be effective July 1, so please make sure to take a look to see what may affect you.

Speaker Appointments
On Thursday, I was appointed to the Commission on Youth, the Virginia Disability Commission and the Broadband Advisory Council by Speaker Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights. I am grateful to Speaker Cox for his expression of trust and confidence in me to serve on these various Commissions, where I look forward to working hard toward the advancement and success of the Commonwealth.
It is an honor to be selected to serve on these bodies and I am thankful for the opportunity to do so.

Contact Us
If you need help with a state government agency or issue, my office can be reached by phone at 239-1213, or by email at delebrewer@house.virginia.gov. Please also visit my Twitter and Facebook. Our address is Post Office Box 5, Smithfield, VA 23431.