The Commonwealth recently observed two state holidays, Lee-Jackson Day and the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. While Virginia's school children, state workers, federal employees, and many employed in the private sector may have had a long weekend in observance of those days, legislators conducted business as usual and held session on both days.
Senate of Virginia Minority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City) today detailed three bills he is sponsoring as part of a legislative reform agenda. If enacted, Norment’s bills would shorten the length of General Assembly sessions held in odd-numbered years, provide greater transparency and accountability to the budget process, and prohibit lawmakers from receiving additional compensation when the General Assembly goes into overtime.
The Monday holiday was a hectic start to the week as we continued our work at the Capitol and many groups and individuals visited my office on their day off. I enjoyed meeting with many constituents including families from the Hanover ARC and members of Patriot and Tea Party groups from throughout my district.
It's been quite a week -- but you can say that almost every week during session. After a few comparatively leisurely days at the end of last week as bills worked their ways to committees, this week has been wall-to-wall hearings, meetings, and votes. Here are a few of the highlights (and lowlights).
Unfortunately, there's often more bad news than good news; several great bills and amendments went down to defeat on party line votes this week. Perhaps nowhere was that more evident than in a subcommittee's recommendation on my transportation lockbox amendment, SJ 353.
Although Martin Luther King Day is a state holiday in Virginia, the General Assembly was in session and honored Dr. King's service to our Nation. Since most people did have the day off, the General Assembly Building was filled with citizens eager to discuss important issues with their legislators. Be sure to see the extensive list below of groups that visited this week!
The 2011 session of the General Assembly began just nine days ago. It is off to a brisk start, but I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few matters of some importance to you and me.
The Virginia General Assembly began last Wednesday, beginning what should be a very productive legislative session. The 2011 session is called a "short session" because, at 46 calendar days, it is two weeks shorter than the 60-day sessions held in even-numbered years.
The following are articles from newspapers, blogs, and other news sources throughout the Commonwealth and the country featuring members of the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus.
Now that all 140 legislators have converged on Richmond, the flurry of activity associated with the 2011 Regular Session of the General Assembly has commenced. Each day brings another news conference, another floor session, multiple committee meetings and, of course, more bills. Roughly 500 were introduced last Thursday alone.
(RICHMOND, VA) – Today, Virginia State Senator Stephen Newman released the following statement regarding yesterday’s decision of Mr. Jens Soering to file suit via his attorney against the Governor of Virginia. The suit was filed in the Richmond Circuit Court over Governor McDonnell’s refusal to transfer the convicted murderer to the nation of Germany.
Richmond, Va, 18 January 2011: Senate of Virginia Minority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City) and Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Stephen D. Newman (R-Lynchburg), joined at a Capitol news conference by the entire Republican Caucus of the Senate of Virginia, today unveiled their caucus’s legislative agenda for 2011.
By RYAN T. MCDOUGLE
Published: January 16, 2011