By Delegate Rob Bloxom
Hi, This is Rob Bloxom with my first Capitol Report from Richmond. The 2023 General Assembly began January 11th and is the short forty-five day session. This is a budget adjustment year where the Governor adjusts the second year of the two year budget. Since Virginia constitutionally has to have a balanced budget, the adjustments could be up or down depending on revenues. Revenues are up again this year mainly due to the federal government spending packages. Governor Youngkin has asked for an additional one billion dollars for tax relief to add to the four billion we gave last year to Virginia taxpayers. This will be the starting point for negotiations.
The other interesting situation of this year’s session is it is an election year. There are 140 members in the House and Senate, all of whom will be required to run in newly drawn districts because of the new census. This nonpartisan redistricting has drawn many of the sitting legislators into the same district. There are 40 districts in which incumbents are challenging one another. I bring this to your attention because a lot of issues might not be decided on a partisan divide but because of the election pairing. My prediction is there will be legislation to provide mail pieces in the primary races or for use in the fall election that will not pass. There will be legislation to solve a problem that will be a non partisan vote that should pass. The budget will have to be balanced but other than that I don’t think a lot of policy will change.
In the next few weeks I will address the legislation that I will patron as well my budget proposals. I am happy to meet with the many constituents coming from the Eastern Shore and Hampton Roads and listen to their specific interests. I encourage you to take a look at the bills that are being considered during the 2023 Virginia House of Delegates session at https://lis.virginia.gov/