Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sine Die! The 2016 Legislative Session is a Wrap!

For Immediate Release                                                                                           Brenda Roberts
03/12/16                                                                                                             (804 )698-1085

                                   Sine Die! The 2016 Legislative Session is a Wrap! 

I want to take some time to update you on things you may find of interest.  It has been a productive 60 days for the House of Delegates.  During the session, my staff and I have concentrated on the principal things on which I ran for office: contributing to the creation of well-paying jobs and diversifying our economy, elevating education, and advocating on behalf our military and veterans.  
Three Important Bills I Introduced That Passed
I'm pleased to tell you that three important pieces of legislation I introduced passed both houses: HB 90 (Virginia National Guard), HB 220 (Virginia FOIA), and HB 450 (Community college veterans advisors and veterans resource centers).
HB 90 (Virginia National Guard allows a member of the Virginia National Guard to carry a concealed handgun at National Guard facilities, if the member has a valid concealed-handgun permit.  As we witnessed, in Chattanooga, TN, our recruiting centers can be targets, so it absolutely makes sense to allow our service members to protect themselves, their families, and their peers.  HB 90 passed the House and the Senate unanimously. 
HB 220 (Virginia FOIA) allows public access to resumes and applications submitted by gubernatorial appointees. The public has a right to know who the appointees are who have the potential to affect policy, regulations, and ultimately our lives.  HB 220 passed the House and Senate with a very strong majority. 
HB 450 (Community college veterans advisors and veterans resource centers) requires that community colleges with the largest veteran populations employ at least one full-time veteran advisor for prospective students who are veterans. It also requires that community colleges establish a veterans resource center on campus to provide access to federal and state veterans resources, and be the hub for all veterans-related activities on campus. I am extremely proud of this bill that helps transitioning verterans and their spouses navigate state and federal resources as they work on their education and become productive civilians.  HB 450 overwhelmingly passed the House and Senate.

Other Important Highlights from the Session
Second Amendment - Last year, Attorney General Mark Herring stripped hundreds of thousands of Virginians of their concealed-carry reciprocity rights. This year, the House of Delegates and the state Senate reached a bipartisan agreement with the Governor to not only restore reciprocity, but also expand it.  Virginia will now recognize valid permits from all other states with concealed-carry permit programs and require the Commonwealth to expand reciprocity agreements in order to ensure Virginia permits are recognized in other states. This action secures the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.
Constitutional Amendments - The House of Delegates passed two amendments to Virginia's Constitution. We adopted an amendment to solidify right-to-work law in the Constitution, ensuring that Virginians cannot be forced into unions. The House also passed a constitutional amendment to expand charter schools, creating more opportunities for Virginia students to succeed.
Conservative Budgeting - We have passed the budget! As always, the House budget is a conservative and responsible spending plan. The budget includes no tax or fee increases, takes steps to eliminate future liabilities, and makes strategic investments in K-12 and higher education. While Washington drowns in deficits and debt, Virginia is charting a fiscally responsible course for the future.  
I am moved by your continued trust in me to represent you. It is truly an honor to act on your behalf, working for you in this historic chamber.


Del. Scott Taylor was elected as delegate for Virginia's 85th District in 2013. He is an author, entrepreneur, Iraq War veteran, and former Navy SEAL. Taylor is a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel discussing foreign policy, national security, and military and veterans' issues. He is also a former member of the Virginia War Memorial Board of Trustees.  www.scotttaylorom 


Dustin Ortiz

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