Greetings from the floor of the House of Delegates!
Virginia is officially in uncharted territory. Every year, the General assembly convenes on the second Wednesday of January. During evenly numbered years, all 100 of the newly elected House members (myself included this year!) are sworn into office. Afterward, House members elect a Speaker and Clerk of the House of Delegates. Additionally, the House is constitutionally required to establish the rules of procedure for the next two years.
Today, the House broke with 400 years of tradition and failed to pass these rules on the first day of session. Instead, the House is temporarily operating under the rules from last year’s session. What this means is that—despite the six hours (and counting) we spent on the House floor today—committee assignments have not yet been made and the actual work of the legislature is unlikely to begin for several days. To make matters worse, the House and Senate (both controlled by Democrats) cannot even agree on how many members from each chamber should be sent to tell the Governor that we are duly organized. In short, we are already disorganized and running behind schedule. Looks like we are in for a difficult session!
In just a few minutes, the House and Senate will gather in the House chamber to hear the Governor’s State of the Commonwealth address. If you’d like to watch the speech, you can view it by clicking
. During his remarks, Governor Northam will outline the Democrats’ policy priorities for the upcoming session. A preview of these initiatives can be read