Governor Ralph Northam brought two pieces of good news to Tazewell May 18.
The Governor was in town to sign House Bill 222 but he drew his biggest applause when he announced he had signed the bill reenacting the coal tax credits. Northam said his administration is committed to bringing prosperity to all parts of Virginia said House Bill 222 will help bring that about.
The political partnership of a white Republican from coal country and a black Democrat from this troubled city was an unexpected symbol of unity in this year’s General Assembly session.
Brought together by the economic desperation of their home districts, Del. James W. “Will” Morefield (R-Tazewell) and Del. Lashrecse D. Aird (D-Petersburg) came up with a seemingly radical idea to give tax breaks to the employees of companies that create jobs in distressed localities.
Gov. Ralph Northam officially signed House Bill 222 into law at the Petersburg Library on Friday afternoon. The bill gives incentives to for companies invest in distressed localities and offers potential grant funds to employees.
Southwest Va. received some good news as the 2018 session of the Virginia legislature closed.
Delegate Will Morefield’s bill to give tax bfreaks to companies locating in the area passed both the senate and house. The bill approved by a conference committee shortens the tax break period for businesses from 10 to seven years. It also eliminated the income tax exemption for employees of new companies.
As the 60-day General Assembly session closed Saturday, lawmakers had successfully sifted through more than 3,000 pieces of legislation.
Although lawmakers still have to finish budget negotiations and vote on a final, two-year budget — a task that will require the full legislature to reconvene at a later date — the brunt of the legislative process has been completed. Lawmakers evaluated a slew of legislative proposals, and many did not survive.
The freshman class in Virginia’s House of Delegates is the most diverse in history. It is also one of the youngest.
Maybe it’s the sunshine in House of Delegates subcommittees and committees, where votes on bills are now recorded on electronic voting machines, or maybe it’s just what happens in a 51-49 Republican-Democratic split, but there’s plenty of attention paid these days to where legislators stand.
“Whew,” said Del. Gordon Helsel, R-Poquoson, “Did you see that vote on sanctuary cities? I really sweated that.”
Delegates Emily Brewer and Jay Jones may be the face of a new wave of lawmakers in the Virginia General Assembly.
Jones, a 28-year-old Democrat from Norfolk, and Brewer, a 33-year-old Republican from Suffolk, have formed what some may see as an unlikely bipartisan friendship.
Maybe it was because of Valentine’s Day, but the General Assembly was unusually lovey-dovey Wednesday at the midpoint of this year’s legislative session.
The Republican speaker of the House praised the Democratic governor; the top Democrat in the House praised the speaker. A Democrat and a Republican even staged a cute presentation on the House floor to invite everyone to a wine party.
Virginia has quickly become a haven for Millennials, generally considered to be those born from the early 1980s to the late 1990s. Richmond, Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Newport News have some of the fastest growing Millennial populations in the country; they bring to our Commonwealth new energy and new ideas. Sadly, the growth in some parts of Virginia is not shared in others.