This week marks the start of the 2023 Virginia General Assembly session! This newsletter contains updates and news on the Commonwealth and the 93rd district. Keep reading to learn more about what happened in Richmond this week, my office’s legislative priorities, and more!
The 1st Week of Session in Review
After unpacking boxes and getting settled back into the Pocahontas building, the session began on Wednesday with the swearing-in of Delegate Holly Seibold and Delegate Ellen Campbell. The House agreed on the joint rules and some new committee assignments. I will continue serving on Counties, Cities, and Towns and Commerce and Energy.
On Wednesday, Governor Youngkin gave his first State of the Commonwealth address to the General Assembly.
Governor Youngkin highlighted the importance of bipartisanship, which is what the Commonwealth needs, now more than ever. However, bipartisanship is not in fact a priority to Governor Youngkin. The legislation that he and his party are putting forth are extreme, which include proposals like:
- Stripping women of their right to choose and threatening doctors with jail time
- Ignoring the impacts of climate change
- Giving tax breaks to the wealthy and to out-of-state corporations
- Turning our classrooms into culture war battlegrounds instead of places of learning
- Undoing common sense gun safety measures that have saved lives
It is clear that Virginians reject these ideas. My Democratic colleagues and I stand with the majority of voters when it comes to protecting a woman’s right to choose, delivering a world-class education to our young people, creating a vibrant economy for hardworking Virginians, and keeping our communities safe and healthy.
Team Mullin’s 2023 Legislative Priorities
Despite this being a short 45-day session, I am hopeful that my colleagues and I will make significant progress for Virginians. We will see over 2,000 pieces of legislation and will amend the second year of our biennial budget. Our team is carrying 9 pieces of legislation this year:
Preserving Virginia’s History:
–HB 1968 directs the Dept. of Historic Resources to develop a program to identify, publicize, and mark sites in the Commonwealth featured in the Green Book
Several bills are focused on criminal justice reform:
–HB 1965 would require the release of law-enforcement disciplinary records
–HB 1960 repeals mandatory minimums for many nonviolent and drug-related offenses
–HB 1961 ensures that petitioners with a protective order issued in a family abuse case are given password access to any electronic devices they are granted
–HB 1959 enables courts to go to a final determination on competency when an initial evaluator has determined the defendant to be unrestorably incompetent
Two Newport News Charter Bills:
–HB 1962 would save time and resources by requiring those aggrieved by any assessment made by the city real estate assessor to first apply for relief with the board of review, potentially bypassing the need for a Circuit Court judgment
–HB 1964 changes newspaper ad requirements for the sale or lease property by the city’s waterworks system from 4 to only 2 weeks, conforming to other cities’ standards
One bill protects our workers:
–HB 1966 monetarily penalizes companies each subsequent time they fail to pay their employees per the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act
Finally, one bill for our public schools:
–HB 1967 requires school-provided breakfasts and lunches for all public school students
See a full list HERE
The Richneck Elementary School community is in our hearts this as we work through the recent gun violence tragedy. The teacher who was shot remains in hospital in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery. Thank you to the first responders, public safety officials, and local leaders who were on the scene and continue to help the community heal.
For further updates check out: Richneck’s Newport News Public School website
Highlights From the Week
In the News:
WYDaily: Death Penalty Opponents Seek End to Federal Executions
The Virginia Gazette:Williamsburg City Council swears in newest member
Virginia Mercury: Democratic lawmakers again propose Prescription Drug Affordability Board
Daily Press: Newport News swears in new mayor, council members
13NewsNow: Virginia advocates, lawmakers push for gun violence prevention following Richneck school shooting
Richmond Times Dispatch: Aaron Rouse flips key state Senate seat in Virginia Beach
VPM/ NPR: Legislators want to lower electric bills statewide
Daily press: Newport News to install metal detectors at all schools, review protocols around student violence
As always, thank you for reading! Keep connected with our office by calling (757) 525-9526, emailing DelMMullin@house.virginia.gov, or @mikemullin4va on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If my office can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact us!