We just ended the 5th week of the 2023 Virginia General Assembly Session and we have successfully passed the critical “crossover” milestone! 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 5th Week of Session in Review
We finished debating all of the house bills on Monday, with the floor session lasting until 7 pm. We will now go through the same process with the Senate Bills in the coming weeks; each will go through a committee and be voted on on the house floor before being sent to the Governor’s desk.
Just over half of all the bills introduced at the start of the year are still active. Tuesday was the deadline for legislation to pass its chamber of origin. According to the Virginia Public Access Project some 1,257 measures survived and now “crossover” to the other chamber for consideration before the scheduled February 25th adjournment of this year’s General Assembly session.
On Friday afternoon, the General Assembly started interviewing candidates for judgeships across the Commonwealth. This is exceptionally important to anyone who practices law or has any dealings with the criminal justice system. These people will interpret the law, set future precedents, and determine the outcomes of cases. Next week we should interview a few more and elect these candidates. The 9th Judicial Circuit, which serves York and Poquoson, will be getting a new Juvenile and Domestic Relations Judge. I had the honor of speaking on behalf of the delegation for our nominee, Matthew Kite. Mr. Kite is currently the Commonwealth’s Attorney for King William and will do an excellent service to the children and families that come through his courtroom.
Watch the INTERVIEWS
Celebrating the Moving of the Williamsburg Bray School
William & Mary and Colonial Williamsburg held a ceremony celebrating the arrival of the Bray School at its new, permanent exhibition site in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg.
The Williamsburg Bray School was founded to educate enslaved and free Black children, exemplifies Virginia’s pioneering role in education. In partnership, Colonial Williamsburg and William & Mary are working together to research and showcase the roles of race, education, and religion in American history. A major component of the partnership includes the William & Mary Bray School Lab, which is documenting the school’s history to fully understand its complex legacy and to inform future interpretation. The 1760 Bray-Digges House was discovered hidden within a dorm on William & Mary’s campus, is the oldest extant schoolhouse for African American children in the United States and predates our nation’s founding. The school’s restoration is essential to telling Black history in the Historic Triangle.
Team Mullin’s 2023 Legislative Priorities
We just hit Crossover, so here is our “halftime” report. This year we filed nine bills and four budget amendments. Five bills survived and made their way to the Senate. Three budget amendments made it into the House budget.
Here’s what we’ve still got cooking:
HB 1959– allows courts to move forward by means of a report instead of a hearing in those instances where someone has already been found unrestorably incompetent because of an ongoing and irreversible medical condition.
HB 1961– protects victims of domestic abuse by allowing courts to award them control of cell phone or computer passwords. It also prevents electronic snooping on devices like Ring cameras by abusers.
HB 1962– changes the City of Newport News’ charter to make applying for relief with the board of review a prerequisite to filing for relief in the circuit court on real estate assessments.
HB 1964– changes the City of Newport News’ charter amendment so that the city waterworks advertising requirements are the same as the rest of the city.
HB 1968– creates roadside markers commemorating places mentioned in the “Green Book,” which was a Jim Crow Era travel guide used by African Americans to find safe passage through areas of the South.
*See a full list of our bills HERE
Item 136 #67h Security Renovations in Newport News– $1.5 million school security improvements to immediately renovate Richneck Elementary and enclose classrooms that do not have walls and doors.
Item 386 #12h Preservation of Archaeological Evidence Near James Fort– $500,000 to prevent sea level rise and flooding at Jamestown Island and the historic archaeological work at James Fort.
Item 126 #6h Historic Study of the Green Book in Virginia– $100,000 to conduct and accelerate a study of “Green Book” sites being done across the Commonwealth.
*See a House & Senate Comparison HERE
Highlights From the Week
In the News:
The Washington Post: VA General Assembly faces stalemate on guns, abortion at ‘crossover’
Daily Press: Richneck Elementary could receive $1.5 million for renovations; statewide school security funding proposed
WTKR: Peninsula delegates team up to get markings for Virginia’s Green Book locations
Cardinal News: It’s time for the House and Senate to swap bills. Here’s the legislation that’s survived the divided legislature.
WTOP: Mental health courses could be required in all VA public schools
Blue Virginia: VA Senate Democrats Pass Constitutional Amendment to Enshrine Reproductive Freedoms in Virginia’s Constitution
The Washington Post: House, Senate far apart as Virginia lawmakers pass budget plans
Virginia Mercury: VA House rejects mandatory livestreaming bill as localities warn high costs
Richmond Times-Dispatch: 263-year old Williamsburg School goes on a half-mile journey
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!