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 2020 Virginia General Assembly Session

Here is  what the General Assembly Under Democratic Control Did in 2020 

Oct 21, 2020, General Assembly Session Makes Economic  Recovery Harder, Jefferson Policy Journal

Oct 21, 2020, Wind and the Grid: A Precautionary Tale from the UK, Jefferson Policy Journal

Oct 21, 2020, Governor makes changes to 'headlight' police reform bill, WTVR

Oct 21, 2020, Gov. Northam signs new laws supporting COVID-19 response, reform policing, WHSV

Oct 15, 2020, COMMENTARY - Richmond to Parents: 'You're on your own', Fredericksburg Freelance Star

Oct 7, 2020, Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) Returns, Jefferson Policy Journal

Oct 7, 2020, Dominion Green Energy Costs Grow Again, Jefferson Policy Journal (State Corporation Commission now estimates $800 per year for average household)


Sept 9, 2020, Economic and Job Recovery? Not the Special Session's Focus, Jefferson Policy Journal

Sept 9, 2020, The Disaster Called the Virginia Clean Economy Act, Jefferson Policy Journal

Aug 20, 2020,  Northam Sign Protection Bills for Dogs, Alexandria Gazette

July 22, 2020, Gov. Northam signs legislation to ease spouse licensure process, FotrLee Traveller (military spouses)

July 19, 2020, Governor Northam signs in-state tuition equity bill, WDVM 25

July 9, 2020, Governor Northam signs gun safety legislation, wdbj 7

Jul 2, 2020, Northam signs bill to raise Virginia's minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2023, thecentersquare

July 1, 2020, Gov. Northam signs minimum wage bill in Portsmouth, 13NewsNow

June 17, 2020, Gov. Northam signs 14 bills into law in virtual ceremony, WFXR

June 7, 2020, Gov. Northam signs bill for Medicaid Expansion, Daily Press

May 21, 2020, Gov. Northam signs state budget, bill to decriminalize simple marijuana possession, WCYB News 5

May 1, 2020, Valley Legislators Reflect on Financial Implications of Session, Daily News Record


Apr 12 2020, Gov. Northam signs bills that expand access to voting, WRIC

Apr 12, 2020, Gov. Northam signs several criminal justice reform bills into law, Newsbreak

Apr 12, 2020, Northam signs bills on Confederate monuments, LGBTQ protections, NBC29

Apr 11, 2020, Northam signs bill to let localities determine fate of Confederate monuments, WTVR

Apr 11, 2020, Virginia governor's slew of bills herald progressive new direction for state, Guardian

Apr 10, 2020, Gov. Northam Signs Bill Protecting Abortionists on Good Friday, Virginia Society for Human Life

Apr 10, 2020, Northam signs bills to roll back abortion restrictions, Richmond Times Dispatch

Apr 10, 2020, Gov. Northam signs gun-control bills into law, ABC News

Apr 10, 2020, Virginia governor signs background checks, 'red flag' and other gun control bills into law, CNN

March 9,  2020, 8 Big Things That Passed in the Final Hours of an Historic Virginia General Assembly Session, Virginia Mercury


Mar 3, 2020, Va. governor signs three LGBTQ bills into law, Washington Blade

Mar 3, 2020, Gov. Northam signs 68 bills, including ban on conversion therapy into law, ABC 13 News

Feb 27, 2020, Northam signs 16 bills into law, Rivercountry News


Citizen Response to Pre-filed Gun Control Bills Prior to the 2020 Session

After the 2019 General Election when Republicans lost a majority in both houses of the legislature and there was not A Republican governor, a mass mobilization of Virginia citizens occurred as a result of prefiled gun control bills that would restrict or take away gun ownership and use rights altogether.  Many Virginia localities passed Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions including Rockingham County.

The Rockingham County Republican Committee held and informational meeting on Second Amendment Sanctuaries on Monday, December 2, 2019, and provided the lead speaker for the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors Hearing on December 11, 2019.  Attendance at that Board of Supervisor's heading was the largest public attendance to any local government meeting in the history of Virginia from the Colonial period with more than 4,000 in attendance, 1,500 who could not get into the building, and more than 1,000 who watched the hearing from home. The Rockingham Supervisors unanimously voted to approved the resolution, which was signed the next day.

List of  Virginia Second Amendment Sanctuary Localities

Regular Session 2020

Whereas in prior years when Republicans controlled one of the houses of the legislature or the Governor was a Republican and could stop bad legislation from being signed into law, Republican were limited to trying to trying to change the worst part of bills making them not so bad.

A two year state budget was passed that invests heavily into our financial reserve, the rainy day fund. It also continues the Republican priority started in 2019 of freezing college tuition, and providing pay raises for teachers and state employees- contingent on meeting revenue targets. The budget increases spending by more than $18 billion, or roughly 20%.  Many of these increases are predicated on tax and fee increases. Revenues from existing sources are up, and therefore a number of key priorities could have likely still been adequately funded in this budget without the additional tax increases. Even with the increased revenue, the Taxpayer Relief Fund that was adopted last year to protect the middle class from an automatic tax hike was repealed in favor of even higher spending. Some of your hard-earned tax dollars collected by the Commonwealth that should have been giving back to you will now be spent instead.


While this budget does continue to fund many core priorities, it also funds many new programs and pet projects that are not core functions of government. I have significant concerns that this level of spending will be impossible to maintain in an economic downturn from COVID-19 social distancing and stay-at-home orders.


As a result of a gun control bill that was passed in the Spring and went into effect on July 1 cities, counties, and towns can strip the gun owners rights by passing gun control that forbids you from carrying in local government buildings, parks, recreation and community centers, and at permitted events and adjacent streets. If localities do this, Virginia will have a massive spiderweb of gun control across the Commonwealth. It makes carrying a gun difficult because you have to know the gun laws of more than 193 localities instead of just knowing state law. And it reduces where you can carry.  Gun-controllers want to keep expanding that prohibited location list until gun owners will just leave their guns at home out of pure frustration. As a result, Virginia citizens began requesting that their locality become a No Local Enforcement Zone. Two localities enacted such enforcement rule: Alexandria and Richmond.

Here is a list of localities that have passed resolutions to prevent the enactment of local gun control.


Republicans Opposed the Procedures for Conducting the 2020 Special Session in August

What should have been a straightforward initial session to properly organize the body turned into an unprecedented power grab. The Democratic majority attempted to change the House rules to allow committees and the full body to meet entirely online.  After two failed attempts at a rule change to allow for virtual session, they decided to ignore the rules and forced through a resolution on a simple majority vote (party line) that gives sole authority to the Speaker to declare that the House shall meet virtually.


Next they passed a resolution that authorizes per diem payments for the special session. This amounts to just over $200 a day that is supposed to go towards food, travel and lodging expenses. However, there are no travel expenses for virtual session. During a time of economic crisis when cuts will undoubtedly need to be made, this is wrong. This was wasted and improperly used taxpayer dollars. Conducting session and committee meetings entirely online limited citizen involvement in the legislative process and raises several issues. Virtual meetings presents an opportunity for a chair to more easily ram through a proposal without sufficiently allowing dissenting voices to be heard. And finally, there are security and integrity concerns. Republicans were united in opposition to these actions.

The General Assembly's "COVID and COPs" session resulted in many actions that will make economic recovery more difficult. As it turned out, the Democrat leadership was unable to handle the changes in bills resulting in some embarrassing errors in bills, such as police being prohibited from stopping cars not using headlights at night which are clear safety issues. Governor Northam changed that bill before signing what was still a bad police bill.


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