‘Productive’ session in Virginia’s House

Michael J. Webert

The 2018 General Assembly Session has reached the end of its 60-day session. The House of Delegates had another productive and successful year by advancing several significant pieces of legislation that focused on bringing practical solutions to everyday issues.

We passed legislation that addressed our teacher shortage, lowering the cost of medical prescriptions, honoring our veterans who gave so much to our country, and a major piece of regulatory reform.

This session, like all sessions, has not come without its challenges, and sometimes we get lost in the divisive political dialogue that surrounds us on a daily basis.

I had the opportunity to speak on the House floor about some of the great moments from this year’s legislative session. Some moments showed our goodness, some moments showed our greatness, and some moments showed our humanity.

The House and Senate adjourned sine die as scheduled, but without an agreement on a new two-year state budget. When we return in a special session, we will start with a fresh discussion on a new budget. The General Assembly will reconvene at the call of the Speaker and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules.

Working out a final budget agreement is a process that sometimes takes more time than we have in a short, 60-day session. We will take a little time to let everyone go home and then begin talking about our next steps. We have until the end of June to adopt a budget, but it’s important to get it done as soon as possible to give school boards, local governments and state agencies certainty as they write their own spending plans. We have some time, but need to work diligently. The sooner we get a plan the better it is for our Triple-A bond rating. The bond rating agencies will watch us carefully to see how we handle our budget discussions.

Even without the budget completed, the 2018 session was still productive and successful. We advanced our Practical Solutions to Everyday Issues agenda, reached bipartisan agreements with the governor on criminal justice and regulatory reform, and defeated $770 million in tax increases proposed by Democrats.

While session has been fun, it’s great to be back here in the 18th District at home with my family and in the community. If you need anything from my office, please do not hesitate to reach out by contacting me at 540-999-8218 or DelMWebert@house.virginia.gov.

Delegate Michael J. Webert, a Republican, represents Rappahannock County in Virginia’s House of Delegates.

Editor’s note: Webert separately tells constituents that his “cornerstone” piece of legislation this year, among his four bills that passed the House, is Bill 883 — The Regulatory Reform Act of 2018. Observing that Virginia ranks as one of the highest and most broadly licensed states in the country, the bill proposes to cut red tape by reducing and streamlining regulatory requirements by 25 percent over the next three years. “I believe the government should work for the people, not against them,” Webert said.

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