The 2018 session of the Virginia General Assembly commences at noon on Wednesday, January 10, 2018. After the wave election last November, it appears that the partisan composition in the House will stand at 49 Democrats and 51 Republicans, numbers that many of us hoped for, but few would have predicted last summer. Picking up 15 new seats was an incredible and unprecedented feat, and its significance has not diminished even with the disappointments of the last few days. Not only are our very talented new Delegates entering the chamber this week, but dedicated candidates such as Josh Cole, Donte Tanner, and Shelly Simonds, who came so close and fought for every vote until the end, are to be commended. We expect these and others who ran strong campaigns to be back competing in the next election.
There has been much attention given to recounts and court cases, but on January 10 we put campaigns behind us and will reorganize and start working on the business of governance, the people’s business. There are many issues coming before us, not the least of which will be the two-year budget. In Virginia, the outgoing Governor proposes a budget at the end of his term, and Gov. McAuliffe has continued his focus on building a new Virginia economy and investing properly in education, health care, and job creation. His four-year record has been unparalleled: more than 207,000 jobs created, almost $20 billion in new capital investment, and an unemployment rate among the lowest in the nation. He was just chosen by Governing Magazine as the Best Governor in the nation. [Read more…]