banner 2
Norment News 

General Assembly Update: Week Eight
 
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 
 
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, March 7

As we enter the ninth week of session many begin the final countdown to the conclusion of the 2016 session. This year the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on Saturday, March 12. While some of the debates have grown longer as we near the final weeks of session the Senate and House have been efficient throughout the legislative process. In fact, this year's session may likely be remembered most for its efficiency and timeliness, which stands in contrast to the budget sessions of 2010 and 2012 that ended in budget standoffs that took weeks to resolve.
 
When the spending plans of the two chambers are approved by a majority of Delegates and Senators, the differing proposals are negotiated by a conference committee. As Co-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance I am proud to serve as a member of this important conference committee. The work of a conferee is to create one budget bill from the approved Senate and House budgets.  As with every bill, the final, negotiated version of the budget must receive the approval of at least 51 Delegates and 21 Senators in order to pass from the General Assembly.
 
In our dedication to transparency and to increase public awareness of the details within the Commonwealth's budget, the House of Delegates and Senate have written a 48-hour waiting period into the General Assembly's procedures.  This means that after an agreement on the budget is reached there will be at least 48 hours when the negotiated budget will be available online for the public to review - before legislators vote on it.

Last year, the House and the Senate instituted this budget transparency initiative for the first time. As a result, budget negotiations were completed ahead of schedule and, consequently, the General Assembly session ended a day early.  With results like that, it's easy to understand how last year's trial run became this year's policy.           
Legislation
During this session I  introduced a number of bills that  will benefit our community and the Commonwealth. I am proud to report that the follow legislation has passed both chambers of the General Assembly:

SB 423 has passed the House and Senate unanimously. As you may be aware, asset forfeiture is when law enforcement agencies seize property involved in criminal proceedings. Over the course of the last year the Crime Commission, which I am Chairman of, has been studying this issue to craft thoughtful legislation. The language from this bill emerged based on the Crime Commission findings.This legislation prohibits law-enforcement agencies from requesting or requiring that a person who claims lawful right to a property from waiving this right. Additionally, the Department of Criminal Justice Service is now required to report annually the amount of all cash, negotiable instruments and proceeds from drug and non-drug asset seizures. The Department shall also ensure that such report is available to the public.

SB 562 has also passed the House and Senate unanimously. Many Virginians have seen their monthly premiums and deductibles increase substantially because of federal overreach in healthcare. This legislation authorizes insurance companies to offer health benefit plans that were legally sold prior to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as long as federal authority has suspended enforcement of provisions of Title I of the PPACA or regulations promulgated there under or the requirements of the PPACA are amended by any federal law.

SB 563 extends the sunset for the sales and use tax exemption for machinery and tools used in the extraction and processing of natural gas and oil from July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2022.  

SB 564 excludes from the Freedom of Information Act materials associated with an application or renewal of a teaching license. This legislation passed unanimously out of the Senate and received 93 votes in the House of Delegates. 

SJ 88 Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study early childhood development programs to determine the best strategy for future early childhood development investments. Currently, the Commonwealth spends $80 million per year on students who fail at least one grade between kindergarten and third grade. In fact one in eight children enter kindergarten without the basic skills needed to succeed in school. Children not reading proficiently in third grade are ultimately four times more likely not to graduate from high school. Through this resolution JLARC will begin to study specific childhood development programs from prenatal to age five, and will report to the General Assembly its findings to enable legislators to build a strategy for future childhood development investment.

SJ 101 and SJ 102 honor our veterans who have served our nation dutifully. Senate Joint Resolution 101 designates Virginia as a Purple Heart State. Senate Joint Resolution 102 designates August 7, 2016 and each succeeding year as Purple Heart Day in Virginia.  As the son of an Army Colonel and Normandy Beach survivor, it gives me a tremendous amount of joy and pride to support the veterans of our Armed Forces. Since its inception, thousands of Virginia's have been awarded the Purple Heart, commemorating the sacrifices they have made in service to our nation. These resolutions honor the brave men and women who have been injured defending our nation. 
Visitors

The visitors to Capitol square last week included many friendly faces from home and across the Commonwealth:
  • President Taylor Reveley, College of William & Mary
  • Dr. John T. Wells, Dean & Director of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science
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