General Assembly 2023 Update – Week 6
The General Assembly is down to the final week of the 2023 Session and all bills have to be acted upon in committee by Monday. Legislators will spend the remainder of next week on final floor votes and in conference committees working out language discrepancies in legislation before final passage. A conference committee is a small group of legislaotrs from both chambers who meet to resolve differences in legislation.
Two bills that may not reach final passage next week are the budget bills. Currently there is a $1 billion difference between House and Senate versions of the 2nd year of the biennium budget. Finding resolution on this gap could mean a delay in adjournment or the Governor calling for a special session.
In 2022 the budget was approved during a special session that ran into June. Virginia’s budget cycle runs from July 1 to June 30, meaning a budget needs to be passed by June 30 to prevent any shut downs of government services.
The differences in the two budget bills are primarily focused on tax cuts proposed by Governor Youngkin in the House version. This bill includes lowering individual income tax rate from 5.75% to 5.5%, increasing the standard deduction, and lowering corporate income taxes from 6% to %5. The Governor believes the budget surplus will support these tax cuts.
The Senate would rather see the budget surplus invested in education and mental health programs.
Call to Action on Budget
There are two specific workforce development related amendments to the budget that the Chamber encourages members to support by reaching out to legislators in the next few days.
The Chesapeake Division of the Chamber has been working for several years with the Chesapeake Public Schools to establish a regional CTE (Career Technical Education) facility to support students in Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Norfolk. It is included in the House version of the budget, but not in the Senate version.
Inclusion of this in the budget is a critical element to the business community in Hampton Roads as it will continue to support the pipeline of trained workforce necessary to support the economy in Virginia.
The second is support for the Workforce Development Council’s efforts to fill the pipeline of workers to support jobs in Hampton Roads.
Ask your legislator to support these two items being included in the final budget bills:
- Chesapeake Career Technical Education – the House included $20 million for Chesapeake Public Schools establishment of a regional CTE facility for students in Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Norfolk.
- Workforce Development – Specific to Hampton Roads – Inclusion of $2,500,000 to the GO Virginia Region 5 Council to advance workforce development initiatives related to shipbuilding, offshore wind, and road and tunnel construction. The department may award these funds to Region 5 for the purposes of supporting the Hampton Roads Regional Training System under the Hampton Roads Workforce Council
Listed below is information on how to reach out to your legislator, members of the Chesapeake delegation that represent the school system making the request, as well as budget conferees for both Chambers. While your legislator may not be a budget conferee, please ask them to reach out to the conferees to support these two amendments.
- If you don’t know who your legislator is, use this link to retrieve the information:
Who’s My Legislator? (virginiageneralassembly.gov)
House of Delegates:
- Chair Approp. Barry Knight, R-Virginia Beach – 804-698-1081 – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vice Chair Approp. Terry Austin, R-Botetourt – 804-698-1019 – DelTAustin@house.virginia.gov
- Del. Robert Bloxom, R-Accomack – 804-698-1000 DelRBloxom@house.virginia.gov
- Del. Emily Brewer, R-Suffolk – 804-698-1064 DelEBrewer@house.virginia.gov
- Del. Luke Torian, D-Prince William – 804-698- 1052 – DelLTorian@house.virginia.gov
- Del. Mark Sickles, D-Fairfax – 804-698-1043 – DelMSickles@house.virginia.gov
- Finance Co-Chair Janet Howell, D-Fairfax 804-698-7532 – email@example.com
- Co-Chair George Barker, D-Fairfax Barker, George – 804.698.7539 – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, D-Fairfax – 804-698-7535 – email@example.com
- Minority Leader Tommy Norment, R-James City – 804-698-7503 – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Steve Newman, R-Lynchburg – 804-698-7523 – email@example.com
- Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta – 804-698-7524 – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth – 804-698-7518 – email@example.com
- Sen. Mamie Locke, D-Hampton – 804-698-7502 – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath – 804-698-7525 – email@example.com
- Senator John Cosgrove – 804-698-7514 – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Senator Lionel Spruill – 804- 698-7505 – email@example.com
- Delegate Jay Leftwich – 804-698-1078 – DelJLeftwich@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Cliff Hayes – 804-698-1077 – DelCHayes@house.virginia.gov
Vice President of Governmental Affairs
|Monday, February 20||Last day for committee action on remaining bills|
|Thursday, February 23||Last day to act on remaining bills and appoint conferees|
|Saturday, February 25||Session adjourns sine die|
|Monday, March 27||Last day for Governor’s action on legislation|
|Wednesday, April 12||Reconvened session|