House is ‘laser-focused’ on economy

Published 1:22 pm Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Virginia General Assembly just concluded its first full week of session.

The 100-member House has introduced more than 1,000 bills, and the 40-member Senate has introduced more than 700 bills. Over the next two weeks, the 14 House committees will be doing a lot of the heavy lifting to hear the bills before action can be taken on the House floor.

The House of Delegates is laser-focused on improving Virginia’s economy. We’ve fought to keep taxes low, eliminate burdensome regulations and create a pro-growth environment for entrepreneurs.

For many years, Virginia was nationally recognized as one of our nation’s best states for business. But right now, our economy is struggling and faces enormous challenges. Our policies aim to create a culture of opportunity where people can empower themselves to succeed in society. This is accomplished through private job creation and entrepreneurship that makes it is easier for people to work and own a business. Our plan has four main priority areas: regulatory reform, reforming the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, passing commonsense jobs bills and crafting a conservative, balanced budget.

Now that committees are meeting, we are beginning to see legislation make its way to the floor. This week, the House passed two measures that I was proud to support. The first was HB 1582 which allows our men and women serving our country in the Armed Forces that are between the ages of 18 and 21 to obtain a concealed handgun permit. The second bill is HB 1394 which prevents a local franchises from being forced to unionize their employees. This measure will protect small businesses across Virginia, including the 61st district.

One of my bills scored a victory this week. HB 1532 made it out of committee. This legislation will allocate an additional 5 percent of the Fire Programs Fund to local volunteer fire departments. This will go a long way in supporting our community and those that protect it.

We also begin our work on the budget. Members can submit budget requests to the Appropriations Committee.

I submitted a request for an increase in correctional officers at the Piedmont Regional Jail.

Tommy Wright represents Lunenburg in the House of Representatives and is a resident of the county. His email address is