The session is in full swing

Published 12:15 pm Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The 2018 General Assembly session is in full swing. This week we began meeting with our assigned committees. I wanted to let you know this year I will continue to serve as vice chair of the Militia, Police and Public Safety committee and as chairman of the firearms subcommittee. I will also continue to serve as a member of the committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources and as a member of the General Laws committee. I look forward to working with other members on these important committees to pass practical solutions to everyday issues.

Unfortunately, the governor’s address to the Joint Assembly was pretty disappointing. Speaker Cox and Majority Leader Gilbert started the session with speeches on bipartisanship, something the governor mentioned just once that night in his remarks. Gov. Ralph Northam made it clear that the Second Amendment is under attack. I think the governor missed an opportunity to continue the theme of cooperation. I do not think that should be a priority at all, and I pledge to you my continued support for the rights of law-abiding citizens. While it is harder to be optimistic about the potential for our relationship with Gov. Northam after his speech, I still hope to work with him in other areas to improve the lives of the people of the 61st District.

I remain committed to focusing on supporting our law enforcement, improving our education system, supporting veterans issues and bringing good paying jobs to our area. Also, too often rural Virginia seems to be forgotten by liberals on the left who focus their energy on the bigger cities. That is why I am so honored to be serving on the Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources committee. Farming is a way of life here, and I will make sure farmers always have a voice in Richmond.

Chairman Chris Jones also updated us this week on the budget. Passing a budget is the most important thing we do while in Richmond. I commit to you to be a good steward of your tax dollars. As I have done in the past, I will support a balanced budget, which funds the core functions of government. It’s also important for the budget to be on time, and I am committed to doing everything I can to make sure that all these things happen.

My legislative aide, Nancy, and I are just getting started in Richmond, and hopefully Gov. Northam will come around and decide to work with Republicans on passing good policy and passing a balanced budget.

I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting with so many of you who have stopped by my Capitol office over the past week. This week we welcomed Linda W. Clark, Tammy W. Williams and Donna Dagner, from Lunenburg County; Forrest A. Sanford, Mary Alice Williams, Casey Royster and Clifford Dye, of Amelia County; Baxter Stegall and Angela Stewart, of Nottoway County; Jason Young, of Cumberland County; and Tom Tanner, of Mecklenburg County. If you happen to be in the Richmond area during this year’s General Assembly session, please stop in and say hello.

Del. Tommy Wright can be reached via email at DelTWright@house.