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Norment News 

General Assembly Update: Week Seven
 
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 
 
 
   

This week the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation's 2019 Commemoration Committee released a progress report entitled   "America's 400th  Anniversary, 1619-2019 - Democracy, Diversity, Opportunity". As Co-Chairman of the 2019 Commemoration Committee with House Majority Leader, Kirk Cox we are proud to offer you a look inside all of the developments of the committee as we prepare for the Commemoration. You may access the progress report here . Should you have any questions or wish to obtain additional information, please contact the 2019 Commemoration Office at 
757-253-4219
 
I am honored to report that the Senate passed our budget bills, SB29 and SB30, out of the Senate and they will now be sent to conference for discussion with the House of Delegates. As the first budget I have worked on as Co-Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee I believe that we have developed a fiscally responsible and conservative budget that will serve the Commonwealth well and continue to lead us into a prosperous future.   
VCTA- 2016 Cable Reports- Gloucester- Senator Tommy Norment
VCTA- 2016 Cable Reports- Gloucester- Senator Tommy Norment

VCTA  Cable Reports
 host, Lynwood "Woody" Evans's interview with Senator Norment  regarding the role of Majority Leader and Co-Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee  and legislation during the 2016 General Assembly Session.

VCTA- 2016 Cable Reports- New Kent/King & Queen- Senator Tommy Norment
VCTA- 2016 Cable Reports- 
New Kent/King & Queen- 
Senator Tommy Norment


Monday, February 29

Last week the Senate and House of Delegates released and approved their respective versions of Virginia's two-year budget. This approval process in done during even-numbered years when the General Assembly meets for 60 days. During the shorter sessions in odd-numbered years amendments are made to the approved budget. 

The Senate's budget was approved by a 38-to-1 bipartisan vote and as a Co-Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, I am proud to say that it is structurally balanced, reduces state-supported debt, and trims discretionary spending. When adjusted for population growth and inflation, General Fund expenditures have decreased by 5% over the last decade.

These cuts to discretionary spending do not mean that core services are being neglected. In fact, the Senate plan directs more funding to our public schools. It also pays for the state's share of funding for a 2% teacher pay raise that would go into effect this year.   Sheriffs and the State Police also see an increase in funding to address salary compression.

The approved Senate budget is $3 billion less than what Governor McAuliffe proposed. There are no new taxes or tax rate increases in the plan.  And, the Senate budget does not adopt ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion. 

The Senate's approved budget also provides funding to ensure Virginia remains on the forefront of economic growth, workforce development, and job creation. One important example is GO Virginia, a legislative priority I have sponsored for this session. This initiative to encourage and enhance cooperation between business, education, and government entities to grow our economy, would receive nearly $39 million in funding.  New workforce development initiatives received $23 million, including a new program providing tuition assistance to students seeking credentialed or certified education in high-demand fields.

The next step in the budget process is for the House and Senate to work in conference on reconciling differences between the two plans and approve a budget to send to the Governor. 
Budget Amendments

I have worked to include a number of amendments in the budget that would impact important priorities in our community and across the Commonwealth. Some of the priorities that I introduced amendments for and are in the Senate budget include:
  • Project Discovery - This program encourages student to stay in and graduate from high school and provides tools for students to transition to college. A majority of the students in this program are first-generation college students
  • AirBnb - Legislation that would allow AirBnbs to operate unregulated in Virginia passed by a one-vote margin in the Senate. I opposed this legislation because it would negate local zoning ordinances, allowing these commercial enterprises to operate without having to meet the same standards required of hotels and traditional bed and breakfasts. The amendment I fought to include in the budget would delay the enactment of this legislation unless it is reenacted by the 2017 General Assembly.  It would also require the Virginia Housing Commission to complete a study on the issue and report back to the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and House Appropriations Committee.  It is my hope that, after the study of the implications of this emerging industry, legislators will be able to negate potential negative consequences and retain local authority.
  • State Public Libraries - Additional funding was put in to purchase summer reading program materials 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. 
If you would like to access the full overview of the Senate Finance Committee's proposed amendments to the 2016-2018 Biennial Budget, click  here.

Visitors

The visitors to Capitol square last week included many friendly faces from home and across the Commonwealth:
  • The Honorable and Mrs. Stan Clark
    Former Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisor member
  • Mr. John Knaul, William & Mary College
  • The Honorable Anita Parker
    Gloucester County School Board, Petsworth District
  • Dr. Cynthia Williams, Williamsburg
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.
 
 
Very truly yours,
 
Senator Tommy Norment
Paid for and Authorized by Friends of Tommy Norment