General Assembly Update: Week 2

Dear Friend,

The second week of the General Assembly session just wrapped up. A number of resolutions were voted on by the House this week, but no bills have made it to the floor for a vote. If you’re interested, you can view daily legislation calendars for the House and Senate by clicking here.


Committees

All 100 House members are appointed to serve on committees, with most members serving on two or three committees. The House has fourteen committees, each covering different subject areas. In accordance with the Rules of the House, appointments to committees are made by the Speaker. The Senate additionally has their own committee system with eleven committees.

This year, I’ve been appointed to serve on the Appropriations Committee and the Rules Committee.

The House Appropriations Committee is responsible for drafting the state budget on the part of the House of Delegates. Comprised of 22 members, the committee meets several times per week during session to craft a budget for all areas of state government. On this committee, I’ll be able to continue my advocacy for increasing teacher and state employee pay, including law enforcement. It’s likewise imperative that we budget in a fiscally responsible manner with an eye towards maintaining our triple-A bond rating

The House Rules Committee is comprised of 17 members, plus the Speaker. Committee members generally are made up of senior Delegates from both parties. The committee considers a wide range of legislation including government studies and holidays.

You can learn more about House committees, including their meeting times, by clicking here. Live streaming and archived video of committee meetings can be accessed here.


Survey

With the legislative session fully underway, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to fill out my 2020 legislative survey.

Click here to take my 2020 survey.

This survey hits on a range of policy areas that will be under consideration by the legislature. The 23 question survey certainly isn’t comprehensive, so I welcome your thoughts on matters not included in this survey.


Legislation

I want to take a quick minute to highlight a bill and a budget amendment that I’m sponsoring this year.

My bill for the 2020 session is House Bill 307. The bill will raise the cap for financial rewards for crime reports from $1,000 to $5,000. Currently, groups like Crime Solvers are limited to providing a $1,000 reward for tips when trying to solve crimes. My legislation makes a small edit to the tax code to allow for larger rewards while still maintaining anonymity. As reward funds are privately raised, my legislation won’t cost the taxpayers. The idea for this bill was brought to me by the Chesterfield/Colonial Heights Crime Solvers, and I’m hopeful it will help our law enforcement solve a number of open cases. This legislation has support from a bipartisan group of Chesterfield legislators.

I’m also sponsoring a budget amendment in support of Pocahontas State Park. My amendment provides the necessary funds to furnish and maintain new cabins slated to open later this fall. Cabins at Virginia State Parks are revenue-generating, meaning the funding from this budget amendment is one-time spending to get the cabins up and running. In the future, revenue from rental fees will cover cabin maintenance

All legislation can be viewed by visiting www.lis.virginia.gov. The budget website can be accessed at www.budget.lis.virginia.gov.


Visitors to the Capitol

If you’re planning on visiting Richmond during the legislative session, I hope you’ll drop by my office and say hello. You can reach out to my office ahead of time to schedule an appointment by calling (804) 698-1066 or emailing DelKCox@house.virginia.gov.

This week, a number of advocacy groups visited the Capitol to meet with legislators on a range of bills. On Wednesday, I welcomed members of the American Legion as part of their annual “Day on the Hill.” Post 284 in Colonial Heights was well represented!

On Friday, local dentists dropped by my office as part of the Virginia Dental Association’s annual “lobby day.” They were advocating on behalf of House Bill 165, legislation that will establish teledentisty in Virginia in a manner similar to existing telemedicine technologies. They also gave a friendly reminder to brush and floss every day, no matter how busy the legislative session gets!


It remains an honor to serve you and your family in the House of Delegates. If I can be of service to you, please let me know.

Sincerely,

Kirk Cox