96th District, Virginia House of Delegates                                        February 1 , 2019

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Contact Delegate Pogge

Richmond Office 
Pocahontas Building
Room E306
900 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: 804-698-1096
Fax: 804-786-6310
Legislative Aide
Amanda Batten
With only a few days remaining until crossover, my colleagues and I are spending less time hearing bills in committee and more time debating legislation on the House floor. Next Tuesday, February 5, marks crossover. On that date, House and Senate members must complete all work on bills generated in their respective chambers. After crossover, my House colleagues and I can consider only Senate bills. Likewise, Senate members can only hear House bills. The exceptions are the House and Senate budget bills, which will be finalized next Thursday.
The law of unintended consequences
This year I introduced House Joint Resolution 657, legislation to allow the surviving spouse of a disabled veteran to to claim a property tax exemption--regardless of when the veteran passed away. Current law allows the surviving spouse to claim the exemption ONLY if the veteran passed away after January 1, 2011. My bill would have primarily helped elderly individuals by providing a tax savings to many individuals living on a fixed income.

I explained my bill in in subcommittee on January 21. At that time, the legislation was discussed, but no action was taken. A week later, the bill appeared again on the subcommittee agenda. Because I had already presented my bill, I was advised that there was no need to attend this second meeting (which seemed fortuitous due to the fact that I had three other bills up at the same time in different committees!).

Unbeknownst to me, during this second meeting, the subcommittee adopted an amendment to my bill. The revision would have allowed localities to make the tax exemption optional for ALL surviving spouses--even spouses who, under existing law, already receive the benefit. Needless to say, this was not the intent of the bill! Veterans groups were understandably upset, and I shared their concern. I certainly have no interest in removing a benefit currently received by surviving spouses of deceased disabled veterans. 

Upon learning of the unwanted amendment, I quickly took action to strike the bill when it was heard in full committee. I succeeded in doing so, and no further action may be taken on the bill this year. This legislative detour was a reminder that no action is sometimes the best action!
An uproar in Richmond
Unfortunately, Virginia made national headlines this week for all of the wrong reasons. By now you've likely heard about a bill that would allow abortions all the way through the third trimester of pregnancy--right up until the point of delivery.

Virginia law already allows for late-stage abortions that are deemed medically necessary (for the health of the mother) by at least three physicians. House Bill 2491, which was introduced by Delegate Tran, went well beyond the current provision. The bill allowed for abortions all the way until the point of delivery for ANY reason. The bill eliminated the requirement for the consensus of three physicians and also removed the requirement for performance of an ultrasound prior to abortion. Additionally, the bill would have allowed second trimester abortions to be performed at non-hospital facilities. Not only would Delegate Tran's bill legalize the killing of an essentially full-term baby, but it would also remove safeguards (hospitalization, ultrasounds, and physician oversight) that protect the health of the mother.

While I am relieved that this legislation was defeated in subcommittee, I remain appalled that such a bill was even introduced. I am also deeply disturbed by Governor Northam's defense of this extreme abortion policy. I encourage you to take a moment to read the professional perspective of a well-respected OB-GYN, my Senate colleague, Dr. Siobhan Dunnavant.
2019 legislative survey
We may be half way through session, but we are nowhere near final action on many important bills! Please CLICK HERE to take my survey if you have not yet done so.
This week in Richmond
Visitors this week included representatives from the following organizations:
  • 4-H Clubs
  • Denbigh House
  • Insight Enterprises
  • James City County Board of Supervisors
  • James City County Social Services
  • Old Dominion University
  • Teachers
  • Transitions Family Violence Services
  • United Methodists
  • Virginia Apartment Management Association
  • Virginia Conservation Network
  • Virginia Peninsula REALTORS
  • York-Poquoson Social Services
As always, please stop by my office if you are in Richmond. If you are unable to visit, please feel free to contact me via email at DelBPogge@house.virginia.gov or by phone at 804-698-1096. 

Enjoy your weekend!
Delegate Brenda Pogge

Paid for and Authorized by Brenda Pogge for Delegate