State of the Commonwealth Address
Outgoing Governor Terry McAuliffe urged the General Assembly members to “work together and get things done” in his final State of the Commonwealth Address.
He pointed to the order he executed on felon rights restoration as his proudest moment and indicated that the Charlottesville rally was the low point of his term as Governor.
The primary theme of the speech was economic development. There was a new announcement for a manufacturing facility in Prince George County. The outgoing Governor indicated that during his term more than $20 billion dollars were invested in the Commonwealth.
The Republican response to the address focused on the facts regarding Virginia’s slow going economy. Senator Chafin and Delegate Cline signaled an eagerness to start working with Governor-Elect Northam who served as a state Senator and appeared willing to work closely with the General Assembly leadership.
Delegate Kirk Cox Elected Speaker
Delegate Kirk Cox from Colonial Heights was elected to Speaker of the House by a 98-0 vote this week.
Cox will serve as speaker for the next two years. In his swearing in ceremony he struck a bipartisan tone and used the word “unity” multiple times.
The Speaker’s priorities were outlined as; adopting the state budget, improving education and addressing the opioid crisis.
Cox closed his remarks by saying “we are not two parties. We are one House tasked with governing the Commonwealth.
Hampton Roads Committee Assignments
Delegate David Yancey has been appointed Chair of the House Transportation Committee.
Delegate Chris Stolle will be placed on transportation replacing Delegate Peace.
Appropriations Chair, Delegate Chris Jones of Suffolk, indicated that he will recommend Delegate Luke Torian, D-Prince William, for Chair of the Subcommittee on General Government and Capital Outlay.
Millennial Delegates Sworn In
Delegate Emily Brewer, 33, is the youngest Republican in the Virginia House of Delegates. 14 of the newly elected delegates are under the age of 45. Delegate Jay Jones (D-Norfolk) is the youngest Democrat member of the House at 28.
The 60-day General Assembly Session is in full swing as the legislature will adopt a two-year budget and consider several thousand bills and resolutions. The Hampton Roads Chamber will maintain a strong presence throughout the session. In addition to our weekly emailed newsletter and social media posts, we will be highlighting a legislative issue weekly offering a business perspective and insight on key bills before the legislature.