This is the third week of the 2023 Virginia General Assembly Session and the pace is starting to pick up. 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, our legislative priorities, and more!
The 3rd Week of Session in Review
This week started with Member presentations on requests to amend the budget to House Appropriations Committee. View all Delegate amendments HERE. Each of our budget-related asks will help to ensure that our district receives funding for important projects:
136#67h– Security Renovations in Newport News
This amendment provides $8.0 million from the general fund to support security and modernization renovations at Richneck ($1.5 Million) and Dutrow ($5.5 Million) Elementary Schools in Newport News with Open Classroom layouts. This was a popular design for schools in the early 1970s but does not meet modern security needs. 9 classrooms at Richneck and 26 at Dutrow were designed with this open format. These funds will add doors to the main hallway leading to all the classrooms which will have the capability to be locked.
386#12h– Preservation of Archaeological Evidence Near James Fort
This amendment provides $500,000 from the general fund in fiscal year 2024 to assist in the preservation of archaeological evidence at Jamestown Island, due to the ongoing threat of tidal flooding, sea level rise, and inundation in the area. The funding would assist Preservation Virginia and Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation to conduct research, catalog features and artifacts, and care for recovered artifacts.
126#6h– Historic Study of the Green Book in Virginia
This amendment provides $97,000 in fiscal year 2024 from the general fund for the Virginia Tourism Authority and Department of Historic Resources to conduct a historic study describing Green Book sites in Virginia. The information gathered will accelerate and simplify the listing of these properties on the Virginia Landmarks Register, making them eligible for potential sources of funding, highway markers, and increase public education about the Green Book and Black History in Virginia.
On Tuesday, more and more bills made it through the committee process and were brought to the House floor for readings and votes. As the number of bills have continued to increase, so have the floor debates. Topics and votes this week included books/education, utilities, firearm safety, and appointment of incumbent judges.
In the Senate this week, Democrats defeated all three measures to restrict reproductive rights along with the attempt to remove Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The chamber across the hall also passed a bill to protect same-sex marriage in the Commonwealth. Senate Dems also rolled out initiatives to address the mental health crisis and a constitutional amendment to protect reproductive rights.
Team Mullin’s 2023 Legislative Priorities
One of our bills is still waiting to be heard in the Committee on Courts of Justice:
–HB 1961 Family abuse protective orders; relief available, password to electronic device.
Four bills did not make it through the committee process:
–HB 1960 repeals mandatory minimums for many nonviolent and drug-related offenses
–HB 1965 Virginia Freedom of Information Act; required release of law-enforcement disciplinary records
–HB 1966 Workers’ compensation; failure to timely pay compensation.
–HB 1967 requires school-provided breakfasts and lunches for all public school students
Three bills have made it through the committee process:
–HB 1959 enables courts to go to a final determination on competency when an initial evaluator has determined the defendant to be unrestorably incompetent
–HB 1962 City of Newport News charter amendment, on real estate assessment.
–HB 1964 City of Newport News, charter amendment, alters certain advertising requirements.
One Bill has Passed the House and is onto the Senate:
–HB 1968 Agency bill to designate Green Book historic sites with markers.
See a full list of our bills HERE
Highlights From the Week
In the News:
Virginia Mercury: Green Book legislation passes Virginia House
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Cap on insulin said to save $18.6 million a year for more than 36,000 Virginians
Richmond Times Dispatch: House gatekeepers clear bill to crack down on false calls to police
Virginia Mercury: House panel narrowly backs lowering the minimum wage for minors
Virginia Mercury: VA House approves bill to boost transparency when judges get punished
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!