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Published 2:51 pm Friday, January 17, 2020

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The 2020 General Assembly got off to a slow start last week, with many delays as the new democratic leadership tried to get organized. While normally the rules and committee assignments are all adopted on the first day of session, this year was very different.

On the first day of session, Democrats broke with decades of tradition and decorum by failing to propose permanent rules on the opening day of Session. The rules, approved on a 55-45 party-line vote, allow the House Committee on Rules to set policies on sexual harassment training and firearms without approval from the entire House of Delegates.

When committee assignments came out on Thursday, I was pleased with my appointments to the Public Safety, General Laws, and Finance committees. Serving on these key committees will allow me the opportunity to voice concerns that my constituents have with their state government, particularly with matters pertaining to the Second Amendment and taxes.

The House Public Safety Committee was formerly called the Militia, Police and Public Safety, which has 22 members, will be dealing with the much-publicized proposed changes in our Second Amendment Rights in Virginia. I formally served as chair of this committee, and I look forward to continuing my work here on the issues that are very important to my constituents and Virginia as a whole.

The House Rules Committee is comprised of 17 members, plus the Speaker. Committee members generally are made up of senior delegates from both parties. The committee considers a wide range of legislation, including government studies and holidays.

The House Finance Committee deals with issues regarding taxes. The incoming majority has expressed a desire to raise taxes on gasoline and cigarettes in an effort to raise money for roads and to fund “Obamacare” in Virginia. While I’m quite certain that Virginians pay enough taxes, already, I will continue to work to block any tax hikes. If we cannot stop these hikes, then I will do my best to see that these funds are spent in the most efficient way possible.

My new legislative aid, Tammy Brankley Mulchi, from Mecklenburg County and I are just getting started in Richmond. We have thoroughly enjoyed meeting with so many of you who have stopped by my capitol office over the past week. This week we welcomed Libby Blanton from Cumberland, Nicole Martin and Ashley LaFata representing Benchmark Community Bank of Lunenburg. I was able to meet with Valarie Harris from Amelia, who is the new principal at the Amelia-Nottoway Technical Center. We also had a great group representing Southside Virginia Community College, including my constituent Cornelius Fowlkes from Keysville. 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 or (804) 698-1061.