Budget Update, Teacher Appreciation Week, & Bridge Repairs

I’ve had a busy couple of days meeting with constituents and attending events in our community. In this email, I’ll update you on the status of the state budget, alert you to bridge work taking place in Colonial Heights, and share with you my travels around the district.

Governor’s Vetoes Deemed Out of Order

The Clerk of the House has notified the Governor that two of his line item vetoes to the state budget were invalid. The two portions of the budget vetoed by the Governor related to Medicaid and the Public Private Transportation Act (PPTA).

The Clerk’s actions are consistent with rulings by previous Clerks and Speakers–both Republican and Democrat. Further, the Clerk’s actions align with rulings made by the Supreme Court of Virginia.

For a line item veto to be valid, the Governor must veto an entire item. Additionally, for a line item veto to be valid, the Governor must veto both the appropriation and the corresponding conditions.

In this case, the Governor attempted to veto a portion of the budget that requires General Assembly approval prior to any expansion of Medicaid. For this particular veto to have been valid, the Governor would have needed to veto the entire Medicaid portion of the budget.

The budget as passed by the General Assembly can be viewed at budget.lis.virginia.gov.

You can read more on this issue by clicking here.

Teacher Appreciation Week

I celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week by delivering cookies from Cakes and Moore Bakery to schools across the 66th district. Students in Colonial Heights and Chesterfield are lucky to have some of the best teachers in the entire state.

Del. Cox outside of Ecoff Elementary School in Chesterfield County.

This year, the House and Senate worked together to provide Virginia’s teachers a much needed raise. The final state budget passed by the General Assembly included a 2 percent pay raise. Further, the state budget included an additional $34.1 million from state lottery proceed, totaling $191.3 million, that goes directly toward K-12 education funding with virtually no strings attached or matching funds required.

Bridge Repairs in Colonial Heights

Drivers who use the Boulevard in Colonial Heights should expect to see delays this week and next. CSX is completing bridge repairs where the train tracks cross over the Boulevard. Single lane closures impacting southbound traffic will take place the week of May 8th. Additional lane closures impacting northbound traffic will take place the week of May 15th.

For more information, please visit the city’s website.

Around the District

Despite being retired, I still enjoy teaching. I was glad to get the opportunity to teach a group of Chesterfield homeschool students last week. Led by Tina West, these students meet once per week to study state and federal government. Together we discussed the similarities and differences between the General Assembly and Congress, how a bill becomes law in Virginia, and political campaigns.

Del. Cox teaching a group of home schooled students.

This weekend I presented a memorial resolution to Elsie Hawkes that recognizes the achievements made by her late husband, Carroll Hawkes. Carroll, a longtime resident of Colonial Heights, served as a volunteer with the Southside Virginia Emergency Crew based out of Petersburg for 55 years. You can read the full resolution here.

Del. Cox presenting Elsie Hawkes with a resolution in memory of her hubsand, Carroll Hawkes

Outside of session, you can contact me in my district office via phone at 526-5135; by email at delkcox@house.virginia.gov; or by US mail at PO Box 1205, Colonial Heights, VA 23834.

Please visit my Facebook page and my Twitter page. These pages, along with my website, have information/links to the 2017 General Assembly session to include my legislation, visitors’ photos, my legislative survey, videos of floor remarks, and related topics.