Here is Delegate Jackson Miller‘s report on the General Assembly.
While the 2012 General Assembly Session didn’t officially begin until Wednesday, the first week was a busy one. Between bill filing, press conferences, the Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast, and meeting with constituents who stopped by to see me, this week was packed with a number of exciting events I want to share with you in this week’s update.
Governor’s State of the Commonwealth Address
In his speech on Wednesday night, Governor McDonnell set out a bold agenda in his State of the Commonwealth address. Governor McDonnell also challenged Republicans and Democrats in both chambers to work together for the benefit of all Virginians. A number of the proposals he laid out in his speech will likely receive bipartisan support, such as initiatives to continue to help businesses create new jobs and opportunities, a $200 million investment in our colleges and universities to expand enrollment at an affordable cost, and a record $2.2 billion investment in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) for our teachers and state employees.
Of course, not all of the Governor’s proposals will enjoy bipartisan support, and there will be spirited debate about those proposals; however, I believe those disagreements will not lead to the partisan gridlock we see in Washington.
In case you were unable to watch the Governor’s address live, below are links to the text and video from the Governor’s State of the Commonwealth Address.
This year I have filed fifteen bills. They range in topic, but the one I’d like to highlight this week is HB 215: Child abuse and neglect; mandatory reporting.
We must do everything we can to protect the Commonwealth’s children from sexual predators and abusers, and this bill will reduce the time allowed for reporting suspected child abuse or neglect by a mandated reporter from 72 hours to 24 hours. Reducing the mandatory minimum reporting time will help protect young victims of sexual assault from being victimized again from their attacker. The current law imposes a fine of not more than $500 for a first offense and not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 for a second offense. My bill would also change those fines by providing that failure to report will instead be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor for the first failure and a Class 6 felony for a second or subsequent offense. You may read the full language here.
For a full list of the legislation I have submitted for the 2012 Session click here.
In the first week of Session, I also received my committee assignments. I will continue serving on Commerce & Labor, Courts of Justice, as well as Privileges & Elections. New this year, I am honored to serve as Chairman of the Privileges & Elections’ Constitutional Amendments sub-committee. You may click on any committee name in blue to find out more information.
As always, my staff and I are here in Richmond to serve you. We want to hear what you think about the legislation pending before the House, or if there’s anything we can do to help you in dealing with a state government agency. My office can be reached by phone at (804) 698-1050 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you have not had a chance to take my Legislative Survey, you may take it by clicking here. If you are planning to visit Richmond during Session, I encourage you to visit me, I am in Room 418.
Once again, I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Delegate.
Sincerely,Jackson H. Miller Majority Whip, Virginia House of Delegates 50th District
PS: Please feel free to forward this to any friends or interested community members.