This last week and the next one, the fate of most of our bills is determined. We delegates and senators have just one more week to get our bills passed out of committee in our respective chambers. Otherwise, our bills are dead for the year. This week, I presented 8 of my bills in various committees and subcommittees throughout the Capitol. It's always an uphill battle for any member of the minority Democratic party to get bills (and, in particular, important progressive bills) approved by the Republican majority. But with your help, this could all change in November.
I'm honored that our Democratic Leader Eileen Filler-Corn has appointed me as Deputy Whip to the Caucus to make sure that our colleagues don't miss bad bills before they go to committee or subcommittee. In addition, she also appointed me as the Committee Whip of the Militia, Police, and Public Safety (MPPS) Committee. This is the important committee that oversees all of Virginia's gun legislation (as well as other matters).
I spent most of this week reviewing the exact legislative text and planning out strategy for the 13 bills and a constitutional amendment I have filed so far. During short sessions (which occur in odd numbered years), delegates are limited to introducing 15 bills, although constitutional amendments and commending resolutions don't count in the limit. Every year, I have far more than 15 bills that I would like to introduce. So I have to ensure I pick the very best! Many of the bills I am introducing this year were inspired by ideas brought to me by constituents. It's such a privilege to work to put your opinions, concerns, and priorities into legislation.
I will be sending out my traditional first-week newsletter Sunday morning, as I will every Sunday morning from this Sunday until session ends. But given we have snow, Metro closings, and an Amazon town hall tomorrow (Saturday), I had some information to share that couldn't wait until Sunday.
I am excited about what this session and year will hold for all of us. This Sunday -- in what will become weekly newsletters all during session -- I will share the legislation I am introducing this year. My 2019 legislative slate will, as always, be focused on protecting the most vulnerable among us. And of course, I will be introducing my comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation to make sure that people aren't discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Click the photo below to view my two-minute announcement of this legislation at Monday's press conference with Equality Virginia.