DELEGATE RICH ANDERSON’S REPORT ON THE 2012 GENERAL ASSEMBLY AT WEEK 7

Here is Delegate Rich Anderson latest report on the General Assembly.

Rich’s Richmond Report

Staying Connected: Update 2012-04

Dear Prince William Neighbors,

As we wrap up week #7 of the 2012 legislative session of the General Assembly, I’m typing these words at my desk on the floor of the House of Delegates before I head home to Woodbridge for the weekend. In this update, I’d like to report to you on two key events now behind us.

First, we are beyond the halfway point of our two-month legislative session, known as “Crossover,” when completed House bills cross over to the Senate for action, and vice versa. This year, the House passed 603 bills and the Senate passed 403 bills (one-half of the bills submitted in both houses). Bills are making their way through the committee structure and are being debated and voted on by the House and Senate. For a complete listing of legislation, click here to access our Legislative Information System (LIS): http://leg1.state.va.us/lis.htm. If you need help in navigating LIS, please call our Capitol office at 804-698-1051.

The second event was yesterday when the House passed a fiscally conservative budget for the 2012-2014 biennium (two-year budget). A few key points about the House budget:

– It passed on a vote of 79-21.

– It is fiscally sound and fully balanced.

– It raises no taxes or fees.

– It is bipartisan in nature (1/3 of House Democrats voted with the Republican Majority).

– It funds core responsibilities.

– It maintains spending at 2008 levels.

– It now goes to the Senate for action between now and March 10th.

Our House budget amends the Governor’s proposed budget and includes fiscal reserves in the form of $300M for the Rainy Day Fund (to grow it to $600M), $50M for the Federal Action Contingency Trust (FACT) Fund, and a $42M reserve to soften the situation if revenue collections fall short of forecasted amounts. It adds $575M for K-12 education and $200M for higher education. It adds $15M for sheriff departments, and increases funding for additional agents to assist veterans in filing veteran disability claims. It restores many proposed cuts to the health safety net, including proposed cuts to health clinics.

We also provided funding for 970 new Intellectual Disability waivers and 100 new Developmental Disability waivers. We provided $2.2B (with a “B”) to the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) to pay down the VRS unfunded liability. The budget also partially restores “Cost of Competing Adjustment” (COCA) funding to Prince William County schools, a funding source that offsets the higher cost of living in Northern Virginia. Over the next two weeks, House budget conferees will work with their Senate counterparts to finalize a budget that will go to both houses for a vote before going to the Governor for signature. I will keep you updated in future reports.
During this session, we’ve hosted a number of Prince William visitors to the House Chamber and invite you to visit us between now and March 10th when we move back to Prince William County (click here to see a video of one of our visitor introductions from the House floor: http://youtu.be/iuEXIB72H3g).

In closing, I want you to know that we are here for you. Please don’t hesitate to call our Richmond office if we can assist in any way at all. During the week, you may reach me and my legislative assistant (Ryan M. Galloway) in Richmond at 804-698-1051. If it’s the weekend and you need us now, please call my Woodbridge home at 703-730-1380. My email address is DelRAnderson@house.virginia.gov and Ryan’s email address is RGalloway@house.virginia.gov.

That’s it for week #7…come see us if you can…the red carpet will be out…and THANK YOU for the privilege of serving you at home and in Richmond!

Warmest regards,
Richard L. Anderson
Delegate, 51st  House District
Virginia General Assembly

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