It is the end of the 4th week of the 2023 Virginia General Assembly Session and our days on the floor are getting longer. 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 4th Week of Session in Review
February is Black History Month, a time to reflect on our nation’s history. To support and memorialize that history, I sponsored HB 1968 to have the state recognize, preserve, and honor the history of Green Book locations during Jim Crow. The Green Book by Victor Hugo Green featured hotels, restaurants, service stations, and other places where African-Americans could count on being served. In Virginia, there are approximately 315 sites listed in 56 Virginia towns/cities between 1938 and 1967. Today, only 60 Green Book sites in Virginia remain standing. The other locations have been demolished or their status remains unknown. I want to help do my part to preserve this history.
This week, members of the Avalon Center came to be recognized by the House and received HJR 390. The General Assembly commended this nonprofit for its dedication toward ending domestic violence and abuse in the Greater Williamsburg and Middle Peninsula communities. The center recently established its Next Step program to provide transitional housing for individuals in need, while also continuing to maintain a confidential hotline 24 hours a day so that individuals can reach out if they are in danger or in need of resources or assistance.
Over the past 43 years, the Avalon Center has helped more than 1,500 men, women, and children annually who are survivors of domestic violence or abuse, offering shelter, education, and other tools to empower them to achieve independence and lead healthy, fulfilling lives. In partnership with Virginia Career Works, the Avalon Center coordinates job training, legal advocacy, counseling, and transportation to help survivors develop greater self-sufficiency and break the cycle of violence and abuse.
This was the last week for House bills to receive committee action and make it to the House floor. We must hear all these House Bills on the floor by “Crossover” next Tuesday so they can start their journey in the Senate. More and more legislation has continued to move through committees and onto the house floor. Topics and votes this week included banning solitary confinement (HB 2487), making the Chincoteague Pony the official pony of the Commonwealth (HB 1951), and Republican proposals for tighter voting laws (HB 1693 and HB 1877).
This week, the Senate has taken a bold step in the fight for common-sense gun reform with the passage of three important bills. SB 1067, SB 1139, and SB 1181 work to strengthen Virginia’s red flag law, ensure firearms are safely stored, and outlaw dangerous ghost guns. These bills will now go to the House of Delegates.
Team Mullin’s 2023 Legislative Priorities
Two bills have completed the committee process and waiting to be read on the floor:
–HB 1961 Family abuse protective orders; relief available, password to electronic device.
–HB 1964 City of Newport News charter amendment, alters certain advertising requirements.
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 of our bills have Passed in the House and are pending in the Senate:
–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 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:
CNU Newsroom: Christopher Newport selects their 6th President, Rear Admiral William Kelly
Richmond Times: A standoff on taxes, but governor, lawmakers expect a deal in the end
WUSA 9: Prince William Co. students lobby for universal free lunches in Richmond
Wavy 10: Bill to commemorate ‘Green Book’ sites passes House
The Triangle: Williamsburg named among “15 Best Cities in the United States
Virginia Mercury – House approves bill to boost transparency when judges get punished
WYDaily: Williamsburg Mayor Elected Chair of Hampton Roads Planning District Commission
Virginia Mercury- House won’t take up 20 constitutional amendments still pending in committee
WTOP: Ponies are uniting donkeys and elephants in Virginia over new proposed bill
AP News – GOP-led panel again defeats campaign finance reform
13 News Now: The rise and fall of Virginia’s ‘Green Book’ locations. What’s been lost, and what can still be preserved
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!