Focusing on military, education

Published 3:33 pm Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The 2018 General Assembly session is nearing the halfway mark, as crossover is just days away. The House is making progress on several key issues as we prepare to begin considering legislation passed by the Senate. Tuesday is the last day for the House to act on its legislation.

This week I want to share with you some of the bills to which I have signed on as co-patron this session, which have already passed the House of Delegates.

The House of Delegates has now passed the three major pieces of the “Practical Solutions to Everyday Issues” agenda. In November, House Republicans filed the first three bills of the 2018 General Assembly session with the purpose of advancing practical solutions to everyday issues. I was proud to co-patron each of them. House Bill (HB) 1 will protect private student data, HB 2 will allow a spouse of any member of the armed forces, who has a valid out-of-state teaching license, to teach in Virginia, and HB 3 ensures that students who attempt to cut down on the cost of college by completing dual-enrollment courses in high school will actually receive the credit they are due. These bills show my commitment to our armed forces and strengthening our education system.

Speaking of our armed forces, I also signed on as a co-patron of HB 737. This bill will place an indicator on a veteran’s drivers license that signifies that the holder is a veteran. The members of our armed forces have given so much to our country that we owe it to them to do anything we can to show them the honor they deserve. There are times that a veteran needs to show proof of their service, such as when they receive a discount at a restaurant. I am proud to support this piece of legislation, and I look forward to it being signed into law.

Another bill which I have co-patroned is one that will help the families of a military member who was disabled in the line of duty. Again, those who serve our country have given so much, if a military member is severely injured in combat, we should do everything we can to take care of their family. House Bill 71 will exempt from paying personal-property taxes the spouse of a service member who was 100 percent disabled in combat. If someone was severely disabled while protecting our country, they will likely not be able to work, and providing for their family will be difficult. This common sense bill will make sure their family is not further burdened by their inability to work. I was proud to sign on as a co-patron of this bill.

I am happy to report each of these bills mentioned have passed the House and are now headed to the Senate.

My legislative aide, Nancy, and I are enjoying meeting with so many of you who have stopped by my Capitol office. This week we welcomed Steven Bailey, Nick Bailey, with S & M Brands; John Shepherd, with Young Farmers of Farm Bureau; and from Nottoway County we had Ronnie Roark, county administrator; Helen Simmons and Gary Simmons, with the Nottoway County School Board; and School Superintendent Dr. Rodney Berry. 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@ or (804) 698-1061.