News from the 93rd: January 6th Newsletter

Happy New Year! The 2023 legislative session of the Virginia General Assembly begins in less than one week on January 11, 2023. As always, I will also be sending a weekly Newsletter throughout the session to keep you apprised of our actions. This newsletter contains a recap of December, other updates, and news from across the Commonwealth and the 93rd district. 

Revising the 2022-24 State Budget Governor’s Recommendations

Last month Governor Youngkin addressed the Joint Meeting of the Senate Finance, House Appropriations, and House Finance Committees and announced his amendments to the Biennial Budget. Below is a summary of the most notable investments suggested by the Governor:

  • Providing over $230 million to jumpstart the Right Help, Right Now plan for the overhaul of behavioral health and substance abuse programs.
  • Launching Virginia’s Compete to Win strategy by investing in tax cuts, talent and workforce development and a $500 million commitment to business ready sites.
  • Funding for enforcement and public safety through Operation Bold Blue Line, including $30 million to recruit 2,000 new law enforcement personnel and additional funding for prosecutors.
  • Making Our Commitment to Virginia’s Children with new investments in reading and math and expanded resources for education, including $17 million for literacy and $50 million for teacher performance bonuses.
  • Offering support to our teachers, nurses, and law enforcement, including $175 million for recruitment, expanded career pathways, and bonuses.
  • Investing in conservation and preservation, including $685 million for resiliency and the Chesapeake Bay. 
  • Starting the All-American, All-of-the-Above Energy Plan with a $10 million investment in nuclear and other zero-carbon technologies that produce reliable, affordable, and clean energy.

Where the Governor proposals fall short:

  • For Teachers- Youngkin’s merit-based bonus for teachers addresses their concerns over the level of teachers’ pay, especially since details about how the bonus would work – who would get them, how merit is determined and by whom – are still unclear.
  • School construction is another major concern that was not clearly addressed- We should find ways to address those shortfalls.
  • We will resist Youngkin’s effort to pull Virginia out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative as well as efforts to end the state’s electric vehicle sales mandate.
  • I and my Democratic colleagues in the House and Senate are proposing making an income tax credit for households with income at or below the federal poverty line — $18,310 for a couple, $27,750 for a family of four — fully refundable.

With a Republican-led House and a Democratic majority in the Senate there is a place to find common ground on common ground on at least some of the things we all find important.

Prepare for Winter Weather Now

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management encourages all Virginians and visitors to be prepared for this winter weather season and the arctic blast weather event that will impact the commonwealth beginning Thursday, December 22. Virginia is no stranger to the adverse effects that can occur during winter weather events of all magnitudes. Winter storms create a higher risk of roadway incidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. While most think of winter storms as snow events, we cannot rule out the other threats that wintertime poses such as extreme cold, freezing rain, ice, and high winds.

As a reminder, below is a list of preparedness actions that you can take to lessen the impacts of severe winter weather:

During a winter storm, stay off the roads as much as possible and only drive when absolutely necessary. Always give snowplows and responders the right of way.

If you must travel, know road conditions before you leave home. View the latest road and traffic conditions at or by calling 511 or viewing the 511 Virginia mobile app.

Prepare your home

  • Make sure your home is properly insulated
  • Check the weather stripping around your windows and doors
  • Learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe burst
  • Have additional heat sources on hand in case of a power outages
  • Keep a fire extinguisher accessible
  • Replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector annually
  • In the case of high winds, secure loose items around your property and trim any branches that could threaten your home

Prepare your car

  • Batteries lose power as temperatures drop, be sure to have yours tested
  • Check your car’s antifreeze level
  • Have your radiator system serviced
  • Replace your car’s windshield wiper fluid with a wintertime mix
  • Proactively replace your car’s worn tires and wiper blades
  • To help with visibility, clean off your car entirely – including your trunk, roof, windows and headlights

Other Tips: 

Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning device inside your home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any other partially enclosed area.

Snow shoveling is a known trigger for heart attacks. Always avoid overexertion when shoveling.When severe weather occurs, plan to check on elderly or disabled neighbors and relatives. Protect yourself from Frostbite. Hands, feet, and face are the most commonly affected areas so wear a hat, mittens or gloves and cover your mouth with a scarf to reduce heat loss. Keep dry. Change out of wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer or heavy clothing.

Be sure to follow trusted sources for information such as VDEM, Virginia Department of Transportation, Virginia State Police, National Weather Service, and your local government. 

2023 Regular Session Schedule

The General Assembly will convene for its annual regular session on Wednesday, January 11th 2023 at noon. In odd years like this one we are amending the biennial budget rather than crafting a new one, so we typically meet for a “short’” 46-day session.

Below is a summarized list of session key dates:

  • January 11 at 12:00 PM – House convenes
  • January 11 at 4:00 PM – Governor’s State of the Commonwealth Address
  • February 5 – Committees responsible for Budget Bills to complete work
  • February 7 – Crossover; Amendments to Budget Bill available by 12 noon
  • February 9 – Budget Day
  • February 25 – Adjournment scheduled

December Highlights in the Community

City of Newport News Lights at the Fountain tree lighting at City Center. The boys and I met Santa, ate lots of treats, and got to see an amazing light show!
Legislative priorities meeting the Williamsburg City GovSenator Mason and Del. Batten
Celebrating 50 years of our Community Services Board- COLONIAL BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
VDOT completes the Skiffes Creek Connector Project in the Lee Hall Area
Judicial reappointment interview of Judge Gary A. Mills to Newport New Circuit Court
Greater Williamsburg Chamber’s annual pre-session forum with the Peninsula Delegation

In the News:

Virginian-Pilot: Promises of mental health reform are frequent. This time has to be different.

Peninsula Chronicle: Williamsburg Awards Inaugural Mace Bearer’s Award To Neighborhood Council Founder Jim Joseph

Virginia Mercury: Youngkin announces task force on temporary detention order system

Washington Post: Youngkin announces special election to fill late Rep. McEachin’s seat

VDOT Press: VDOT RIBBON CUTTING at the Skiffes Creek Connector Project

Daily Press: Next phase of I-64 widening project can move forward, VDOT says

Washington Post: Bones of ancient native dogs found at Jamestown

Daily Press: Order in the court: Women judges in Virginia on the rise

WY Daily: Greater Williamsburg Chamber Hosts Legislative Pre-session Forum

As always, thank you for reading! Keep connected with our office by calling (757) 525-9526, emailing, or @mikemullin4va on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If my office can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Be well,