We’re officially one week out from the end of the 2023 legislative session. This is the last opportunity for the Senate and House to work through our differences before the final slate of bills head to the governor’s desk.
Youngkin Creates Jobs in … Michigan
Last week, House Republicans in the majority passed their preferred version of the state budget – one that offers big tax breaks for corporations but little for Virginia’s working families. This budget is not in the best interest of our Commonwealth and is a far cry from the version passed by the Senate. The House and Senate will now need to reach a budget compromise quickly through a series of intensive negotiations known as “conference committee.”
Conference is an opportunity to improve the budget. On Wednesday, I spoke on the House floor to ask my Republican colleagues to take this opportunity to invest in Virginia – especially in light of Ford’s recent announcement that they will select Michigan as the site of a new electric vehicle battery plant after Youngkin blocked the new jobs from coming to Virginia last year. With billions in investments and 2,500 jobs now headed to Michigan instead of Virginia, the least House Republicans could do is find middle ground with our Senate colleagues for the benefit of our Commonwealth.
I hope House Republicans take this opportunity to do right by Virginia. No matter what, I promise to fight along with my caucus and our Senate counterparts to make sure we don’t give in an inch to the MAGA extremist agenda. Watch my full remarks below:
Valentine’s Day in the Capitol
Any constituents visiting the General Assembly building on Tuesday may have noticed that things looked a little bit different. Valentine’s Day is a big deal in Richmond with senators and delegates engaged in a friendly competition for the best office decorations. In a rare moment of consensus between both chambers and parties, I am pleased to report that my office dominated this competition. While I will concede that Delegate Michelle Maldonado’s office put up a good fight, our wall of roses and treat buffet clearly won over the crowd.
Meeting with Equality VA
Despite the risk of distraction posed by our elaborate Valentine’s Day decorations, my office managed to continue with our important work. On Tuesday, I met with members of Equality VA in Richmond. Equality VA is a strong force fighting with us against Republicans’ anti-LGBTQ+ agenda and the numerous anti-trans bills introduced this session. It’s important to stay vigilant as we work to make Virginia safe and welcoming for all our citizens, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. I am proud to count this incredibly impactful organization as a partner in this fight.
SEIU VA 512 in Richmond
I was happy to meet with the president of SEIU 512, David Broder, in the General Assembly building on Wednesday. The union is a strong ally in the fight for workers’ rights in Virginia, representing our Commonwealth’s public service and home care workers. SEIU’s Virginia 512 chapter serves county and city employees in Richmond City, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties, in addition to home care workers across the Commonwealth. Home care workers have served on the front lines of the public health emergency over the last three years, helping keep our communities safe and healthy and giving elderly and disabled individuals the opportunity to live with agency and dignity. I am a strong supporter of good union jobs and am always proud to work with partners like SEIU 512 to deliver for Virginia families.
VMI Cadets visit the Capitol
On Thursday, the Virginia Military Institute held their annual legislative lobby day in Richmond. I was lucky enough to meet with several young cadets in the General Assembly building. Spending time with our next generation of military leaders reminded me of when I was a young officer in the Navy, just as committed and eager to make a difference. I am sure they will go on to achieve great things for our country.
Meeting With Members of NCBW-PWCC
On Thursday, I had the wonderful opportunity to speak before the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., Prince William County Chapter (NCBW-PWCC). NCBW is a nationwide advocacy organization supporting one of the most overlooked populations in our country: Black women and girls. I am proud to support their important work, not just because I am a father to a young Black woman myself, but because I know their power and value in our society. Organizations like NCBW ultimately lift us all up; by helping Black women access fulfilling careers and relationships, we can start to unlock some of this incredible untapped potential.
Tracking my Legislation in the Senate:
Legislation is moving through both chambers quickly now, so it’s easy to miss important milestones. This week I had a couple major wins in the Senate: one of my bills passed the full Senate unanimously and another reported out of committee and is now pending a floor vote. Read on for more details about these bills.
HB 2414: Property tax exemption pre-approval for disabled veterans and surviving spouses
I am proud to report that my bill to help disabled veterans and spouses of military personnel killed in action claim tax exemptions has passed the Senate unanimously! It is now on its way to the governor’s desk where it will officially become law.
I believe that those who have sacrificed so much for our country should be able to find a home in it. This bill makes it easier for them to do just that by offering pre-approval for real estate tax exemptions when purchasing a home. Currently, our disabled vets and spouses of those killed in action are eligible for this exemption only after they purchase a home. That doesn’t help them very much in this competitive housing market. The pre-approval will significantly improve their purchasing power, reducing upfront costs and fees, and will ultimately make it easier for them to buy a home.
HB 2370: Strengthening the Alcohol Safety Action Program
Another one of my bills successfully reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, meaning it’s on its way to a Senate floor vote. This bill would significantly improve the efficacy of Virginia’s alcohol safety action programs by extending programming to those with convictions that were initially DWI/DUI but pled down to reckless driving (referred to as “wet reckless” convictions). The bill also stipulates that a criminal defense attorney serve alongside a Commonwealth’s Attorney when available on local Alcohol Safety Boards so that when the boards make changes, all effects on program participants are fully considered.
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