Update from Richmond: Week 3

The 2018 General Assembly session is now concluding its third week! Several very important bills have already passed through the House and are on the way to the Senate. This week I will be providing you updates on several key issues we are working hard to address such as adoption reform, improving our education system, and fighting the opioid crisis. As I have said before, House Republicans are focused on passing “Practical Solutions to Everyday Issues.”

Adoption Reform

The House of Delegates this week passed three adoption bills that will help more children find loving adoptive parents. House Bills 241, 227, and 291 all passed through the chamber with bipartisan support. One bill in particular, HB 227, requires courts to consider the results of a national criminal history background check when a step parent is formally adopting step child. The legislation is in response to a case out of Virginia Beach where a young female was found dead from an overdose. After an investigation it was learned that her adoptive parent had a long felony criminal history.

HB 241 shortens the length of time, from three years to two years, that a child must live with a close family member before adoption proceedings can begin. HB 291 simplifies access to adoption files regarding court orders for adoptees and/or adopters so they can more easily obtain personal vital record.

I’m Voting “NO” On Proposed Tax Increases

Democrats have introduced three major tax increases. These proposals would implement a tax on video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, reinstate the so called “death tax”, and implement a statewide hotel tax. You don’t need higher taxes Netflix and Hulu, assets of family members after they pass away, or hotels.

Over the past 15 years, the Republican controlled House has defeated more than $30 billion in tax increases. This year we will add to that number and I continue my pledge to stand against these new tax increases. You work hard for your money and hardworking Virginians don’t need these tax increases.

Joint Subcommittee Formed to Review 2017 Election Concerns

This week, I stood with Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Delegate Mark Cole, and Senator Jill Vogel to announce the formation of a Joint Subcommittee on Election Review. The Subcommittee will consider issues related to the conduct of elections that were brought to light following the November 2017 elections, including absentee balloting, the assignment of voters in split precincts, and recount law and procedures.One of the most sacred rights offered to the people of Virginia is the right to vote in a fair and free election. I thank Senators Norment and Vogel, along with Delegate Cole, or their leadership on this issue. I will be sure keep you updated with the findings of the joint subcommittee as it meets throughout the spring and summer of this year.

2018 Session Survey

Your input is important to me as I vote on legislation that impacts our community. That’s why I’m asking you to complete my 2018 session survey. Many of you may have already received it in the mail, but I encourage you to fill it out online. Please share the survey with your friends and neighbors in the 66th district to fill it out as well. Your thoughts on important issues will drive my work in Richmond. Please make sure you complete and send in your survey by January 31st.

Telephone Town Hall Results

This week I hosted a telephone town hall in which over 820 household participated. We had a great discussion on several issues including the budget, dual enrollment credits, and the House’s efforts to improve transparency. One of the features I most enjoy about telephone town halls is the ability to poll the audience on any variety of issues and receive tabulated responses within minutes. The individuals questions asked by constituents and the survey responses are very important to me and will allow me to better serve you in the House of Delegates.

Results from the eight poll questions asked during the event are now on my website. Click here to view them.

Visitors to the Capitol

I was glad to welcome many visitors to my office this week representing many varied interests.

On Tuesday, I met with representatives of Richmond area credit unions. Over 4 million Virginians, nearly half of the state’s population, are members of a credit union. Our Richmond area credit unions are particularly noteworthy for their small loan programs and their charitable donations.

Speaker Cox with representatives of Richmond area credit unions.

On Thursday, I met with Tonya and Kathy, constituents from Chesterfield, to discuss humane society legislation. I appreciate their advocacy on this important issues that impacts many in our community.

Speaker Cox with Tonya and Kathy of Chesterfield County.

Links of Interest

Below are several news stories covering the General Assembly session that you may find of interest.

I encourage you to keep in touch with me and my office over the coming months. I value the feedback you provide on a continual basis as it helps me do a better job of representing you. You can email me at delkcox@house.virginia.gov or call me at (804) 698-1066. You can also join the conversation on our social media pages by liking my Facebook page or following me on Twitter.

Sincerely,

Kirk Cox