RICHMOND ’24: General Asssembly sends bills; Lewis is new judge

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By Delegate Rob Bloxom

We enter the last week with most of the work in our committees finished. The bills are now on the floor for final vote.

If a compromise has not been reached, then the House and Senate have until we adjourn to reach a compromise.

The bills, of course, will head to the governor for his approval.

The General Assembly sent 84 bills to the governor, which he will need to act upon by Saturday.

This puts pressure on him to see how flexible he will be with the Democrat majority and to see how flexible they will be with his budget.

The budget negotiations are occurring every chance we get to meet, when our schedules allow.

We met Sunday for about eight hours and plan to meet every day to hammer out a deal on our spending package. We hope to have it ready by the filing deadline on Wednesday.

We will have to really work hard to hit this deadline.

The Speaker of the House is really pushing everyone to finish on time. The negotiations are with three senators with their staff person against three delegates with our staff person per section.

The budget is separated in sections, for example, public safety, K-12 education, natural resources, and more.

We defend our proposal and sometimes the conferees take our approach or sometimes they may not.

We might even blend it to reach a compromise to include in our spending package.

There are a number of things personally on which I might take a different approach, but being in the minority, my role is to make their proposal workable and to present an opposing opinion.

It is my job to defend the House position. My questioning is not to defeat any measure but to help make the measure able to be implemented.

In closing, congratulations to the new 2nd District Circuit Court Judge, Lynwood Lewis.

The Eastern Shore’s circuit judge is part of the 2nd District bench, which includes Virginia Beach.

Each district’s delegation is tasked with choosing judges.

Any General Assembly member who represents the district has a voice. We take advice from the two attorney bar associations within the district but are in no way bound by their recommendation.

Unfortunately, this decision was too widely discussed in ways that were neither helpful nor accurate.

The choice was ultimately made in private, with the majority party taking the leading role in the discussion.

I wish Judge Lewis all the best in adjudicating the commonwealth’s laws.​

The last day for this session is March 9, commonly known as “sine die,” and hopefully our work for this session will be completed.

It has been a pleasure, a privilege, and a challenge at times, to represent the interests and concerns of the constituents in our district.

I look forward to hearing from you in the future as I return to our district office in Mappsville.

Feel free to contact me at 757-824-3456.

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