Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston) says that the commonwealth is heading in the wrong direction when it comes to gun control measures in Virginia.
“Gun safety measures were defeated in close, almost party line, votes,” Howell said about last week in the current Virginia General Assembly in an email to constituents.
Emotions ran high this week as Senate committees dealt with many of the most controversial measures. We voted on hot button issues ranging from gun safety, abortion rights, discrimination against GLBT Virginians, "King's Dominion" law, and medical marijuana for children with acute epilepsy.
As the Virginia General Assembly works through its annual 45-day session, the legislators will soon turn their attention toward passing the state budget.
State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston), calls the state’s budget outlook “bleak” while praising Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s proposed budget, which closes the projected shortfall through a series of tax changes and spending cuts.
We are now in our second week of the 2015 General Assembly session and we are rapidly working our way through 2,169 pieces of legislation. The days are long as we struggle to attend all full committee and subcommittee meetings at the same time we present our own bills and meet with constituents. Sometimes we are expected in three or four places at once!
The 2015 General Assembly will continue to grapple with Virginia's large budget shortfall. We are still struggling to fund essential programs and have not yet reached pre-recession funding levels for most state programs. Public expectations are high but our revenues are not keeping up.
Over the past few weeks I have attended four public hearings where over three hundred Virginians expressed their views on the needs facing our state. The needs are real, especially in education and human services. The revenue stream is not sufficient to fund their real, often heartbreaking, requests.