By Del. Rob Bloxom –
As the 2022 General Assembly opens, we convene with what is called “Split Government.” This means Republicans control the governor’s mansion as well as the House of Delegates. The Democrats hold the majority in the Senate. My hope is that this brings Virginia back to the middle ground with our policies.
While some would say that great progress was made over the past two years with a single party in complete control, I differ with that opinion in believing big swings in government policy either way by either political party are a bad thing, because they are unsettling for business and for society as a whole. However, as my father told me, the pendulum will always swing back-and-forth.
The speaker has assigned me the same committee assignments as last year, with the addition of one new one. I continue to serve on the appropriations committee, the agriculture, Chesapeake and natural resources committee, and the privileges and elections committee. By remaining on the same committees, my seniority increases as does my influence. Additionally, I have been appointed to be on the transportation committee.
The last topic I will touch in this first report is the outgoing budget introduced by Gov. Northam. The state revenue, boosted by all the federal stimulus, is at an all-time high. If I had been Gov. Northam, I, too, would have allocated every dollar. He sprinkled a lot of money through his outgoing budget for the Eastern Shore. While this is wonderful at face value, there are a couple of problems with this. First, he has left office and neither he nor his staff are around to defend his allocation of the proposed projects. I wish he had shown a preference for us in his first budget, but unfortunately that was not the case. Secondly, when a person gets too much in the budget, the old adage applies: the fat pig gets slaughtered first. Neither Sen. Lewis nor I can defend all the allocations Gov. Northam included in his budget. A more realistic allocation is required. Sen. Lewis and I will prioritize the allocations and hopefully be successful with much needed state support to complete projects on the Eastern Shore.
I welcome you to visit me in Richmond as we are holding the 2022 Virginia General Assembly in person. The bills that are being considered during the 2022 Virginia House of Delegates session can be viewed at https://lis.virginia.gov/ You can also stream the committee and floor sessions at https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/hv
As always, I welcome you to contact me with any questions or concerns at my district office at 757-824-3456, my Richmond office at 804-698-1000, or email me at [email protected].