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Norment News 

General Assembly Update: Week Two
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Contact our Office:

Senator Tommy Norment
P.O. Box 6205
Williamsburg, VA 23188
(757) 259-7810
district03@senate.virginia.gov

Kalia Sokos
Legislative Aide
kalia@senatornorment.com

Zach LeMaster
Senior Staff Assistant
Zach@senatornorment.com 
 
 
norment new pic
 
 


 Speaking with the 2016 William & Mary General Assembly Internship students on their first day

This week marked the beginning of the William & Mary Internship program in Richmond. This program which is coordinated through my office, pairs students from the college with legislators in the House and Senate. For many years, students have participated in the program providing them with invaluable knowledge of the General Assembly and assisting our legislators as they perform the work of the people in the Commonwealth.
January 22, 2016

Winter Storm Jonas

One topic unrelated to the General Assembly session that has captured the attention of many Virginians, dominating the news and the casual conversations around Capitol Square: the incoming snowstorm.  There are few things that captivate the attention of those within Virginia's Capitol as much as potential snowfall. The snowstorm prompted the General Assembly to call a very rare snow day today- only the second in Virginia's history.

Our area is under a winter storm warning from the National Weather Service from today until 1:00 a.m. on Saturday. The temperature will range from low to mid-30s with three to five inches in our district. Roads are expected to become snow and ice covered, leading to hazardous conditions. Travel will be substantially impacted on Friday. Please do not drive on the roads unless you have to at this point in time. Below are some tips for staying safe during this storm:

General Tips
  • Please make sure to remain in layers, and keep your children in layers as well, as the weather will get extremely cold tonight. Watch out for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Be sure to fill up your gas tanks, as the winter conditions may make getting around very difficult for at least the next day or two.
  • Please do NOT leave pets outside! The cold temperatures may be deadly for pets, so be sure to keep them indoors. 
Transportation
  • To keep up with the Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT) progress in plowing, please see the following website which provides information on VDOT's plan for snow removal, as well as contact numbers to check on their progress. 
  • For the latest weather updates please click here.
Electric
  • For Dominion, please visit the following site for basic emergency contact information. You can report an outage to Dominion by calling 1-866-DOM-HELP, and you can go to the following website to see outage information. Dominion also has pages for general preparedness tips for winter weather, which you can locate here .
  • For the Prince George Electric Cooperative, you can report an outage by calling 804-834-2424, or by visiting the following site.
Budget Amendments
Unlike the federal government (and, surprisingly, 13 states), Virginia has a strict balanced budget requirement in its constitution. This requirement ensures that the state cannot spend money it does not have.  When the General Assembly meets in even-numbered years such as this one, we work to put together the budget that will guide the Commonwealth for the next two years.

On Friday, January 15, I introduced a number  of budget amendments that would provide much needed additional funding to organizations and agencies within our district and throughout the state.  
  • Item 51 #1s provides an increase for civil indigent defense for low-income Virginians. The funds will be provided to the Virginia Legal Services Corporation, which supports ten legal aid programs in 35 offices throughout the Commonwealth.
     
  • Item 138 #4s will provide additional funding to Project Discovery which will allow an increase of program participation by more than 2,000 students. Project Discovery is a post-secondary college access program currently offered through 22 Virginia Partner Agencies in grades four through twelve. The program successfully encourages students to stay in and graduate from high school and provides resources and tools for students and families to successfully make the transition to post-secondary education. Many participants in the Project Discovery program are first-generation college students. 
     
  • Item 241 # 2s would increase the amount of state aid to public libraries to be used for summer reading materials and programs and STEM instructional materials. After returning from summer break students who participated in summer reading programs at their local public library outperformed those who did not in tests. State aid to public libraries has been reduced over the last 15 years, declining by over $5 million in constant dollars to the level in 1999.
     
  • Item 315#9s is a budget amendment that would provide funding for the establishment of mobile crisis services at Community Service Boards. These mobile crisis services will allow on-scene evaluation, treatment and intervention services in the community rather than at CSB offices or emergency rooms. This new initiative has been proposed as a pilot program for 8 CSBs in Virginia, one of which is our own Colonial Behavioral Health in Williamsburg.
Visitors

The Martin Luther King holiday, as always, brought over 1,000 visitors to the General Assembly on Monday. T he visitors to Capitol Square this week included many friendly faces from home:
  • Mr. Richard Ambler, social studies instructor accompanying 160 students from Jamestown High School  
  • Mr. Christopher Burgess, Baylands Federal Credit Union of West Point
     
  • Michele DeWitt, Economic Development Director for the City of Williamsburg
     
  • Mr. Mark Matney, Williamsburg
     
  • Pastor Mark Morrow of Community Crosswalk Church graciously gave the opening invocation to the Virginia Senate on Monday January 18, 2016. 
  • Lisa Thomas, Deputy Director for Child Development Resources
Additionally, a number of organization visited the Capitol for their annual legislative day including:
  • NAACP
  • Virginia Citizens Defense League
  • Mom's Demand Action for Gun Violence
  • School Nutrition Association 
  • American For Prosperity 
  • Virginia Credit Union League
If you are visiting Virginia's Capitol between now and March 12, please remember to stop by our offices in Room 626 of the General Assembly Building.

Please continue to send me your thoughts on important pieces of legislation. You may contact my office by sending an e-mail to  District03@senate.virginia.gov or a letter to Senate of Virginia, PO Box 396, Richmond VA 23218-0396.  You can also call us at 804.698.7503.
 
I hope you stay safe and warm during Virginia's first substantial snow of 2016. 
 
 
Very truly yours,
 
Senator Tommy Norment
Paid for and Authorized by Friends of Tommy Norment