Monday, January 13, 2014

General Assembly Update

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Norment News 

General Assembly Update: Week One
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Senator Tommy Norment
P.O. Box 6205
Williamsburg, VA 23188
(757) 259-7810

Kalia Sokos
Legislative Aide  
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 January 13, 2013

With the start of each New Year, I am privileged to arrive in our Commonwealth's capitol.  I am encouraged by the number of Virginians who descend upon the General Assembly building each year, voluntarily parting from their homes to work for the good of our citizenry and to fight for the future this state deserves. The 2014 General Assembly session will mark the first year of a new administration under the leadership of Governor Terry McAuliffe. Although change is always a challenge, I am excited to begin work with my new colleagues in the General Assembly including over a dozen new members that have recently joined the Virginia House of Delegates.

This Week In Richmond 

This past Wednesday, Governor McDonnell delivered his final State of the Commonwealth Address.  As is customary for outgoing governors, he detailed the key features of the final budget he submitted and reflected on his four years in office. Under his leadership, Virginia once again has the lowest unemployment rate among southeastern states, has enjoyed a budget surplus for every year of his term, and continues to create jobs.  By almost any measure, the last four years have been excellent for Virginia and we hope this trend continues for the next four years.


After a busy Friday of filing budget amendments, Saturday consisted of the inauguration of a new Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General. On a very rainy day, Governor McAuliffe took the oath of office shortly after noon, demonstrating an amicable transition in state government. I was flattered to be offered a seat in the official Inaugural Committee.  The General Assembly is responsible for hosting the inauguration ceremony and the Committee is comprised of a select group of senior legislators.  As a member of the Committee, I helped escort the Governor-elect from the Jefferson Hotel to the Capitol for the ceremony. Also, my daughter Kerri was excited to meet and talk with President Clinton.


While I have been busy serving as the chairman of the Courts of Justice Committee, the chairman of the Crime Commission, and the chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Education, I have worked tirelessly to draft new legislation and have already submitted several of my bills for consideration.  I am currently working with Virginia's higher education institutions on two important bills that will protect our students and allow for their continued progress within the collegiate system.


To ensure our Virginia students remain safe and healthy while attaining their degrees, I have introduced a bill that will increase the criminal penalty for physical hazing practices that cause bodily injury. This bill will also require public schools to uphold the standards of safety established by the Department of Education and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.


In addition to our work on hazing, I have also been actively engaged with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) in drafting legislation that will ease the process of transferring between the Commonwealth's public two-year and four-year institutions of higher education. This legislation will facilitate Virginia's community college students in their efforts to attain Bachelor's Degrees. Some of the most important work that I do in the General Assembly involves opening the door for our citizens to further educate themselves and achieve success in their career aspirations.


Finally, throughout the 21 years I have served in the General Assembly, I have learned that nothing is more essential than establishing and maintaining a relationship of trust and respect with those that I represent. Demonstrating commitment to my constituents is the most central aspect of my job as a legislator. For this reason, I am putting forward a series of  historical ethics reforms this session that will allow members of the General Assembly to increase transparency and maintain a high ethical standard in the legislative process.


I will continue to keep you updated on the progress of my legislation as the session continues.  If you are interested in further information, you can always check on all legislation being considered during this year's session by visiting the General Assembly's website,


Even though it was a short week of session, we had a lot of friendly faces from home stop by our office in the General Assembly Building.  Among our visitors were Jan Brown from the Spirit Works Foundation and Colonel Jim Pauls and Lieutenant Colonel Stan Gorrell from the Virginia Peninsula Chapter of Military Officers Association of America.


If you are interested in coming to visit, we will be posting the date of our Annual Constituent Day soon! 


We are now here in our Richmond office and will be here until the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on March 10.  My legislative assistant, Kalia Sokos, is also in Richmond, and our office is in Room 621 of the General Assembly Building.  You can contact us by sending an e-mail to, or by sending a letter to me at Senate of Virginia, Post Office Box 396, Richmond VA 23218-0396.  You can also call us at 804.698.7503.


At the end of this week, I will report on Governor McAuliffe's first address to the General Assembly and the progress of my legislation.  Until then, I hope you have a great week.
Very truly yours,
Senator Tommy Norment
Paid for and Authorized by Friends of Tommy Norment
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Senator Tommy Norment | PO Box 6205 | Williamsburg | VA | 23188

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