The 2023 legislative session has officially come to a close. In just 45 days we considered nearly 3,000 pieces of legislation, advancing over 1,500 of them to the Governor’s desk. To pass, bills needed broad bipartisan support in both chambers, a tall order given the hyper-partisan national climate.
What we often forget, however, is how much consensus actually exists. Not counting memorial resolutions which are rarely contested, over 500 bills passed the General Assembly unanimously, including two of my own: HB2370 for alcohol safety and HB2414 supporting our veterans and their families. Clearly, there is a lot we can all agree on.
Similarly, it’s worth mentioning that some controversial bills were actually improved through bipartisanship. Thanks to hard, intensive negotiations with members of both parties and community stakeholders, we passed an important workforce development bill, HB2195. As originally written, the bill would have weakened labor and denigrated unions’ central role in developing our workforce. We fought that language and negotiated with Republicans to include amendments supported by the AFL-CIO and other labor groups in the Commonwealth. Miraculously, both parties left happy with the changes, which will streamline and improve Virginia’s workforce development programs. I am so proud of our work on this bill and others like it. This is why we are here. Watch my remarks below:
While we saw several wins for bipartisan cooperation this session, with Republicans in the majority, we were still blocked from delivering on many important issues. If we want to take meaningful action on reproductive healthcare, LGBTQ+ rights, and our climate future, Democrats need to win in the upcoming election. With the session over, I know that my fellow Democrats in the House, their staff, our supporters, and I are already gearing up to deliver a 2023 blue wave.
Jennifer McClellan Makes History as the First Black Woman Elected to Congress in Virginia
On Tuesday night, Democrat Jennifer McClellan delivered a decisive victory in the special election to fill Virginia’s 4th congressional district seat, winning nearly 75% of the vote. She makes history as the first African American woman elected to Congress in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Representative-elect McClellan was an outstanding state senator and I am confident she will bring the same work ethic and solutions-oriented approach to Washington. I was fortunate enough to witness this historic moment at her election night watch party with Congressman Bobby Scott, my staff, and several other delegates and senators from the Virginia General Assembly.
House Pages Wrap up with a Mock Assembly
The House Page Program brings so much joy to our daily work here in Richmond. Besides running up and down the Capitol delivering materials and messages to delegates, House pages get a wonderful education in American civics. As the culminating project in the program, pages host their own mock House of Delegates session, complete with a mock speaker, clerk, and a full docket of bills up for debate. On Tuesday, we heard their arguments, saw some of their bills pass and some fail, and watched as they adhered nearly perfectly to Robert’s Rules of Order for their chamber’s official business. I encourage all our kids to apply to the House Page Program, not only to gain a deep understanding of how our government works, but also to make lifelong connections they can take with them in all future endeavors.
Portsmouth’s Future Generation visit the Capitol
I am always happy to meet with organizations that demonstrate what just a little bit of support can do for our kids. This week, I had the added pleasure of bringing some of their participants to the Capitol. Kids need so much to grow and thrive, including a safe and welcoming space, strong role models, and alternatives to gun violence. Local organizations help provide all of that for our community, and I’m honored to work with them on behalf of our kids.
Visit With the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast
I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and their Director of Marketing and Communication, Marcy Germanotta, during their legislative day at the Capitol. I am continually impressed by the Girl Scouts’ ability to build our young girls’ confidence through education and service. Their cookies were also a nice treat!
Celebrating Bishop Samuel L. Carruth in Richmond
The Carruth Family from Holy Light of Deliverance in Portsmouth visited Richmond on Friday to accept Delegate Clark’s House Resolution 364 Commending Bishop Samuel L. Carruth. For more than 55 years, the Bishop has provided spiritual leadership to his congregation, expanding the physical church and building a strong network through one of the largest, longest-airing Christian radio ministries in the region.
His service to the community more broadly is truly worthy of our commendation with his community events in low-income neighborhoods, educational programs and summer camps for youth, and telephone ministries from the homebound. While the Bishop unfortunately could not attend in person, our chamber nonetheless gave his family a warm House welcome and a framed copy of the official resolution as a small token of our appreciation.
Tracking My Legislation
Two of my bills are officially on their way to the Governor’s desk after a short but intense session. HB2414, which will provide pre-approval for a critical property tax exemption for disabled veterans and surviving spouses passed the Senate unanimously this week. HB2370, strengthening our Alcohol Safety Action Programs, emerged from conference – where differences between the Senate and House versions were successfully negotiated – and was voted into law by both chambers on Friday.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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