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League Day 2024 - Meeting with Our Legislators in Richmond

L. RIce | Published on 2/10/2024

In Richmond

League Day 2024 - Members go to Richmond
Six members of LWV-WA traveled to Richmond on Feb. 7, League Day: Susan Bivins, Ann Brennan, Linda Rice, Maryann Simpson, Jo & Les Solomon, and Jill Whitten.

We met with Delegate Batten ( R-71st) and Keith Fisher, Legislative Liaison for Senator Ryan McDougle (R-26th).

Delegate Batten serves on the House Education Committee and Senator McDougle is the ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee among others. We also had a surprise and gracious encounter with the Speaker of the House, Don Scott, who took a picture with us.

We urged support for salary increases for teachers and support staff in Virginia schools. For Virginia teachers, a salary increase of at least 3% in FY 25 and 7% in FY 26 are priorities.  We also urged funding for school counselors and mental health staff at 1:250 ratio rather than the current 1: 350 ratio.

We discussed the need for salary increase for psychologists, social workers, housekeeping and food service staff in our state mental hospitals. This is an important issue for our area since Eastern State is located in Williamsburg.  Some state mental hospitals to include Eastern State have had to limit accepting new patients in the past because of inadequate staff and safety concerns.

We provided a list of legislation which LWV-VA supports. This includes rejoining ERIC (a system which shares voter data with member states to ensure accuracy), protections for election workers (no firearms within 100 ft of voting activities), budget amendments to rejoin the Regional Green Gas Initiative (RGGI), and several bills relating to safe gun storage, including a ban on ghost guns.

Ghost guns are untraceable and no background check is required.

How A Bill Becomes Law in Virginia

Bills are first considered in their respective House or Senate sub-committees and committees. If they are voted out of committee, they can go directly to the floor of House or Senate for a vote.  If they have a financial cost, the bill will be sent to either the House Appropriations or Senate Finance for further consideration. 

Once bills pass either of the houses, they will go through a process called cross-over in mid-February where the respective House and Senate committees will consider the bills. The House and Senate will also consider bills in conference to work out any concerns.

After this process, finally, bills are sent to the governor for consideration and signature.  Since Democrats do not have a veto proof majority, they will likely be very selective in the bills sent to the governor.

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