Committed to a balanced budget

Published 10:21 am Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Committed to a balanced budget

Moving into the third week of session, the Capitol has seen record numbers of visitors. Daily attendance by the public has consistently been over 4,500 people a day. It has been a very busy time as we continue to work on the issues that matter most to you.

One of our biggest responsibilities this year is to amend the two-year state budget. As you may know, we currently face a 1.2-billion deficit due to the lagging economy. But, unlike Washington, we balance our budget in Virginia. Tough decisions will have to be made, and there will be cuts to government. We remain committed to passing a balanced conservative budget that does not include any tax or fee increases.

One major budget announcement was made last week that will secure the future of our hardworking state employees and state police. We announced that our budget will include a 3 percent pay raise for state employees, raise the salaries of Virginia State Police officers and include money to alleviate salary compression for sheriff’s deputies. It is important that our men and women in uniform know that the Virginia General Assembly is truly grateful for all they do to keep us safe on a daily basis.

Another major item we are working on this year is your right to possess a firearm. The House of Delegates is fighting to protect and strengthen your Second Amendment rights. We have advanced a number of bills that would expand your rights to carry a firearm concealed. One of my bills would add conservation officers to list of individuals that do not need a permit to carry a firearm concealed. We have also killed a number of bad gun bills in committee that would limit your ability as a law-abiding citizen to own and possess firearms.

We were glad to see Liz Hamlett, commissioner of revenue of Lunenburg, and Mike Hankins and Mel Payne with the Lunenburg Chamber of Commerce.

Tommy Wright represents Lunenburg in the House and lives in Lunenburg. His email address is