By Delegate Rob Bloxom
This is Rob Bloxom, with my next to last report from the 2020 legislative session in Richmond. The final report will be once I return from the veto session. We finished the regular session Thursday, March 12, with a vote on the two year budget built on Governor Northam’s proposals. This budget continues the initiative started last year to freeze tuition at Virginia’s public colleges and universities. The budget also provides much needed pay raises to public school teachers. Furthermore, the budget sets aside 1.4 billion dollars in new funding for education. However, the size of government grew under this budget as this is a record amount of 142 billion, the growth being an 18% increase. The Department of Environmental Quality, The Department of Labor, The Department of Taxation, and the Attorney General’s office all received more staff to enforce the new laws that were passed during this year’s session. The taxpayer relief fund was not funded. Instead, the money was spent in other areas.
A positive move of the budget was putting more money into our rainy day fund. The budget deposits 520 million dollars to this fund, bringing our cash reserve to 2.2 billion dollars. Our Commonwealth has enjoyed a healthy economy in recent years but now we are going to definitely be tested with this mysterious Corona Virus.
This brings me to my last thought. Our economy will be hurting and businesses will be hard pressed to survive, so let’s work together to combat this new flu type illness. Just as you may have learned in kindergarten-Wash your hands, do not touch your face with your hands, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, you remember. Please stay home if you are not feeling well. Check on your neighbors to make sure they do not need anything, but most importantly, call your elderly friends to help combat loneliness. This pandemic is something we can help lessen in its severity if we follow the Health Professionals’ guidelines and instructions.
As always, I am truly honored to represent the 100th District. You may reach me at my home office in Mappsville at 757-824-3456, email me at email@example.com and on Facebook @electbloxomfordelegate if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you.