Friday, March 2, 2012

Delegate Mike Watson Newsletter





Delegate Watson with several students on the Capitol steps

Letter from Mike:






We are down to one week of ‘regular session’.  This is the fastest eight weeks I have ever experienced; however, it is unlikely to finish on time due to the budget impasse in the Senate.  This is now the second week where the Senate democrats are refusing to pass a budget.  In fact, the only step they took this week was to effectively kill the House budget.  We promptly raised a new budget on Thursday in an effort to give the Senate another opportunity to act appropriately.  It is incumbent upon the General Assembly to provide a budget and we in the House will take every practicable step to do so.  


Setting aside the budget blockade for a moment, we are advancing a number of positive measures, most of which are focused on jobs, economy, public safety and education.  Among them are four of my bills and three of my budget amendments.  These bills have now passed through the entire House and entire Senate and are en-route to the Governor for his review and signature.   Three of my four budget amendments that were included in the original House budget are now in the new proposed House Budget.  You can visit my website at to see details on each of these measures. 


In addition to advancing the legislation mentioned, we had a number of additional activities.  We have been in contact with many constituents on a variety of issues and enjoyed seeing several visitors.  On Thursday we hosted over 100 students from four schools in our area for SCA day.  They got to tour the Capitol, meet with legislators and view a portion of our session from the House gallery.  I enjoyed spending time with them in the Capitol and think they had a good time as well.  I want to thank the students, faculty and parents who made the trip and I encourage others to contact our office to see about arranging a trip to Richmond. 


Next week, we will share some of our post-session plans as it will be a very busy spring and summer.  In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. 

Have a great weekend, and as always, thank you for the opportunity to serve.




Contact Me:


As always, we are here in Richmond to serve you. We want to hear what you think about the legislation pending before the House, or if there's anything we can do to help you.


My office can be reached at:


(804) 698-1093


or via email at


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This year’s General Assembly Session is winding down.  With only a week left, many bills have either passed through the General Assembly, or have been carried over until next year.  A few bills remain for consideration, and a number of bills are sitting in committees of conference so that disparities between the House and Senate versions of a bill may be worked out.  The budget is the biggest hurdle that remains, and this week, the House of Delegates unanimously introduced a new budget to replace the budget bill killed by the Senate.  This will hopefully provide a vehicle through which budget negotiations can progress.



House Bill 1177 Passes Senate


On Thursday, Mike’s House Bill 1177 passed unanimously through the Senate.  This bill, which previously passed through the House of Delegates with bipartisan support, seeks to amend Virginia’s energy policy to include a focus on domestic energy sources and energy independence.  Existing sections in Virginia’s energy plan emphasize goals for conservation, pollution reduction, and biofuel production, but lacks provisions to mitigate volatility in energy prices and supply. 


This legislation, which will now go before Governor McDonnell where it must be signed before it takes effect, will progress employment of a broad-based approach to ensure Virginia can continue to meet its energy needs.  Virginia is currently the second largest importer of energy in the nation, trailing only California, and the United States Department of Energy projects that electricity demand will rise 24 percent by 2035.  Dominion, the state’s largest energy supplier, projects that electricity demand in Virginia will rise almost 30% by 2026.



Students from the 93rd Come to the Capitol


This past Thursday, over 100 elementary school students visited us at the Capitol to learn more about Virginia’s legislative process.  These students represented four schools from the 93rd District:  James River Elementary School, Rawls Byrd Elementary School, Walsingham Academy, and Williamsburg Christian Academy.


We began the day with a tour of Virginia’s Capitol Building, the structure of which is based on a design by Thomas Jefferson.  Students then heard from Delegate Pogge, Senator Norment, and Delegate Watson to learn what a day in the life of a legislator was like.  After listening to the legislators, we moved outside to have lunch on the steps of the Capitol.  We returned to listen to presentations from Martin Kent, Governor McDonnell’s Chief of Staff, and two House pages who provided information about the page program at the Capitol.  We ended the day by taking the students to the House Gallery where Mike introduced the students before the full House of Delegates.


We look forward to hosting schools from our district in the future.  If you have an interest in coming to Richmond for a tour of the Capitol, or to listen in on a floor session, please let us know.  Also, please contact us at if you would like more information about the page program at the Capitol.

Contact Delegate Watson

Phone: (804) 698-1093     Email:

Mail: General Assembly Building P.O. Box 406 Richmond, Virginia 23218

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