The 2019 session of the General Assembly has adjourned. Scheduled for 46 days, the short session lasted for 47 days. The session saw some fairly significant bills pass that hopefully the embattled governor will sign. We also saw some fairly ridiculous bills fail such as a repeal of our Right To Work laws and the typical gun grabbing legislation we always see. Here are some highlights.
–$1 billion tax reform bill that will give Virginia families much a needed break from high taxes. Some Democrats opposed this saying that the government is better off keeping your hard earned money.
–A redistricting reform bill passed that has received mixed reviews. The bill will establish a bipartisan review board to draw district lines that would then be voted on by the General Assembly. The new process is supposed to take the legislature and the governor’s office out of the process, but that will be hard to do. While we have some serious reservations about this, something needed to be done.
–The age restriction for purchasing and using tobacco products was raised from 18 to 21 years old. This bill first faced a lot of opposition mostly due to armed service members being old enough to die for our country but, if stationed in Virginia, weren’t old to enjoy a Lucky Strike. Those concerns were put to bed when a military exemption was added, allowing the bill to pass. This new bill is significant due to Virginia’s long history of being a tobacco rich commonwealth.
–An increase from $16 to $20 in state inspection fees for your car passed. While we fully appreciate the government allowing us to drive our own cars, we don’t appreciate the mandatory
tax fee to do so every year, on top of all the other taxes and fees associated with owning a car. Sounds like a nickel and dime job.
What Didn’t Pass-
–Delegate Kathy Tran’s late-term abortion bill. I’m sure you heard about that. Tran wanted abortion up to the time of delivery. Thank God it didn’t pass. But Democrat Minority Leader Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn indicated that this nightmare of a bill could be brought up again next year, saying that the bill has a lot of support. Great reason to vote Republican right here.
–Tolls on I-81 failed.
–Tolls on the Fairfax County Parkway failed.
–Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment did not pass. Women already have equal rights. Republicans said women have equal rights. It is the Democrats who view women as second-class citizens and therefore felt the need to push this. But please, go ahead and ask any Democrat why they think this way and also ask them to specifically list the rights that men have that women don’t have. They can’t answer.
And here is a recap Del. Todd Pillion posted to Facebook-
And with that the session is over so the new campaign season has officially started. Every seat in the General Assembly is up for grabs; all 100 in the House of Delegates and all 40 in the State Senate. Republicans hold a one seat majority in both chambers. It will take a lot of hard work to defend that razor-thin majority.