96th District, Virginia House of Delegates                                     March 2 , 2018

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Richmond Office 
Pocahontas Building
Room E403
900 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: 804-698-1096
Fax: 804-786-6310
Legislative Aide
Amanda Batten
As we enter the the final week of the 2018 legislative session, I'm amazed by how quickly time has passed. The General Assembly descended on Richmond during January's bitterly cold winter weather. Now, as we look toward adjournment, the trees are blooming and spring is just around the corner. 

I truly appreciate the part-time nature of the Virginia General Assembly (and not just because of the relatively short sessions!). A part-time legislature keeps elected officials accountable to and engaged with constituents. Because General Assembly members are only in Richmond for six or eight weeks each year, we spend the vast majority of time in our districts, where we live, work, and raise families. Virginia's citizen legislators cannot hide in Richmond to avoid the issues facing constituents. Even while the General Assembly is in session, legislators return home each weekend. You can rest assured that we receive PLENTY of feedback every weekend--and throughout the year!
The budget update
I devoted a great deal of last week's newsletter to the budget, and I have only a brief update to offer at this time. The House and Senate passed their respective budgets and designated the conferees who are tasked with resolving differences between the two versions. The biggest challenge remains Medicaid expansion, which is included in the House budget but not in the Senate budget. Further complicating the issue are recent reports from the President's Office of Management and Budget indicating that the White House may object to Virginia's expansion plan due to Medicaid's "unsustainable" growth (see links below). The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on Saturday, March 10. This imminent deadline leaves only a short time to resolve these issues and pass a balanced budget. Although I hope to adjourn on time, I recognize that significant challenges remain.

White House weighs in on Medicaid expansion in Virginia - The Washington Post

Trump administration weighs in on Medicaid expansion in Virginia, stirring confusion - Washington Examiner
The highest sales tax in Virginia
By now you've likely read news coverage of the additional one percent sales tax imposed on the City of Williamsburg, James City County, and York County. Senate Bill 942 dictates that revenues from the new tax will be divided between the locality where the tax is collected and a fund to market the Historic Triangle. As I shared last week, I strongly oppose this additional sales tax. I certainly recognize tourism's importance as an economic driver, but it is unfair for local residents to pay a tax to prop up a select industry.

I received a flood of emails, calls, and social media messages expressing strong opposition to Senate Bill 942. I spoke and voted against the bill when it came before me on the House floor. Unfortunately, the majority of legislators in the General Assembly voted to raise taxes on every resident in the Historic Triangle. Thanks to Senate Bill 942, our region now claims the dismal honor of having the highest sales tax in Virginia. 

Norment's Historic Triangle tax bill heads to governor's desk - Daily Press
Final week to visit!
The upcoming week will be my final week in Richmond during this year's legislative session. If you'd like to schedule a visit, please contact my office as soon as possible.


As always, please do not hesitate to contact me for assistance with any state-related matter or agency. I may be reached via email at DelBPogge@house.virginia.gov or by phone at 804-698-1096. 


Have a great weekend!
Delegate Brenda Pogge

Paid for and Authorized by Brenda Pogge for Delegate