We’re nearing the halfway mark for the 2023 Session and the docket is moving fast here in Richmond. After “Crossover” this coming Tuesday, February 7th, we’ll begin considering the bills passed by the Senate and any remaining budget amendments before we wrap up the session.
Motion to Strike the “Personhood” Bill
The House Republicans’ Personhood” Bill (HB1395) would outlaw abortion from the moment of conception. Any abortion ban is too extreme for Virginia. That’s why my Democratic colleagues and I asked for a vote to strike the bill from the docket on Friday. My Republican colleagues should go on the record if they believe this bill deserves a hearing. Instead, Republicans managed to dodge the issue again and avoid a vote on an administrative technicality. Why are they so scared to let their constituents know where they really stand? We will keep challenging this dangerous bill and pushing House Republicans to show their true colors.
Addressing the $201M Budget “Miss” for Education
This week we learned that the Governor’s Board of Education made a costly error for our public schools. As a result, our schools can expect to lose out on $201 million over the next two years. This is completely unacceptable – yet in line with Governor Youngkin’s relentless undermining of public education. On Tuesday, I stood by my colleagues in condemning the Administration and calling for our Assembly to increase school funding in light of the enormous shortfall.
Remembering Tyre Nichols and Advocating Police for Reform
On Monday, I stood on the House floor and asked my colleagues to adjourn in the memory of Tyre Nichols, the young man murdered by Memphis police last month. Tyre Nichols should still be alive. I am sick of watching Black men and women die at the hands of those sworn to protect them while many on the right would have us undo all the progress we have made on police reform.
We in the Democratic Caucus want to find solutions. While we have seen real, bipartisan progress – such as creating a statewide database of police stops and banning chokeholds – we cannot afford to go backward. In an election year, I called on my Republican colleagues to resist the desire of the MAGA right to claw back these gains, and instead to stand up, speak out, and build on our bipartisan achievements. Watch my remarks below:
Our newest Caucus member’s first bill passes unanimously in the House!
Delegate Holly Seibold (D-Vienna), our newest Caucus member, saw her first bill pass the House unanimously on Thursday. This bill would provide ASL interpreters for deaf and hard of hearing Virginians in our courtrooms. My colleagues and I know this will be the first of many wins for Delegate Seibold!
Tracking my legislation through committee:
HB 2414: Property tax exemption pre-approval for disabled veterans and surviving spouses
We are two steps closer to cutting out a bit more red tape for our disabled veterans and surviving spouses of military personnel killed in action. If passed, this bill would provide pre-approval for their real estate tax exemption before closing on a home. The pre-approval will significantly improve their purchasing power and help them succeed in this challenging housing market. I am proud to help veterans and their families find a home when they have sacrificed so much for our country. We have a few more votes to go before this bill crosses the finish line, but I am encouraged by the support we received in committee!
Leader Scott’s House Bill 2414 passes Finance Subcommittee 3 and Full Committee with overwhelming support
HB 2370: Strengthening the Alcohol Safety Action Program
On the recommendation of the Commission on the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP), I introduced a bill that would amend their operations in three key ways: expanding the provisions to cover lesser charges of reckless driving where substance use was a factor; granting the original court continuing jurisdiction over the offender; and recommending that a defense attorney with experience in DUIs/DWIs serve on the local VASAP board. The bill passed Courts Subcommittee 1 on Wednesday and Courts Full Committee on Friday with unanimous support.
Leader Scott’s House Bill 2370 passes Courts Subcommittee 1 with unanimous support and Courts Full Committee uncontested
Happenings in Richmond & Portsmouth
Addressing the AFL-CIO Legislative Conference
On Sunday, I spoke with members of the Virginia AFL-CIO about our party’s commitment to Virginia workers. I believe workers are co-equal partners in business and should be at the table when critical negotiations are made. I will not support any workforce legislation that does not engage with our unions, and I will always fight for workers’ rights.
Virginia School Board Association Capital Conference Breakfast
I had the wonderful opportunity on Tuesday to address the Virginia School Board Association at their Capital Conference Breakfast. I was particularly pleased to speak with Cardell Patillo, Chair of the Portsmouth School Board and President of the VSBA. As a proud supporter of our public schools, I always appreciate hearing from our educators! If we want our youth to succeed, we must fully fund our public school system, raise teacher pay, and counter any efforts designed to make access to a quality education dependent on one’s wealth, religion, or luck.
Additionally, one of my local school board members, Mrs. Yolanda Thomas, visited my Richmond office this week! Mrs. Thomas works hard to ensure excellence for our children and public schools. I am proud to support leaders like her who are delivering for our district.
Addressing the Virginia Beer Wholesalers
This Thursday I had the pleasure of addressing the Virginia Beer Wholesalers at their annual legislative conference. Meeting with the Beer Wholesalers reminded me how important small, independent business is for this Commonwealth. I will always strive to strengthen small businesses that are the backbone of our local economies.
Speaking to the AKA’s
On Thursday the Virginia Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. held their annual Legislative Conference in Richmond. I was honored to speak at their morning conference addressing maternal and mental health in our communities.
Leader Scott delivers remarks at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Legislative Day
Meeting Vice President of Trades, Newport News Shipbuilders
I had the pleasure of meeting with Xavier Beale, Vice President of Trades for the Newport News Shipbuilders on Wednesday. Local industry is so important to our region, particularly as we consider critical workforce development legislation in the General Assembly. I look forward to working collaboratively to meet the needs of our business leaders and labor organizations for a more prosperous and equitable economy.
Meeting with Families Forward Virginia
Members of Virginia Families Forward met with lawmakers on Thursday, advocating for increased mental health and education resources for our Commonwealth’s families. Families Forward conducts home visits and provides essential support to disrupt the cycle of child abuse, neglect, and poverty. I was honored to meet with them in my Richmond office.
How to Get in Touch
Questions about Leader Scott’s priorities or timeline? Want to get involved with Leader Scott but not sure how? Want to stay in the know for all news relating to our fight for a better, stronger Virginia? Email us at email@example.com.
Questions about the General Assembly or the legislative process? Email us at DelDScott@house.virginia.gov or call us directly at 757-966-5086.
Don L. Scott
Democratic House Leader
Member, 80th District