It is About Numbers
This year the General Assembly will be very different than ever before. We are waiting to find out our committee assignments and schedules and any changes in procedures. The Session convenes on Wednesday and it is likely I will just be learning some of this information as you are reading this newspaper.
There are a couple of crucial facts to remember.
1. The 2019 fall election brought a Democrat majority to the Virginia General Assembly and all new Democrat leadership in both the Virginia House and Senate. While a majority change happens from time to time, the significant fact is that we are looking at introduced bills that are the most liberal and far-reaching in Virginia history.
From taking away 2nd amendment rights (gun confiscation from private, law abiding citizens) to the return of a late-term abortion bill that we defeated last year, there is a long, serious list of bad ideas and bad bills that can become law. We have seen many of these bills before, and to be frank, Republicans have defeated them because we held the majority.
2. The second crucial fact is that all these bills can pass! It is all about numbers. Last year the House held a one-vote majority and so did the Senate. The 100-member House is now 55 Democrats and 45 Republicans. The 40-member Virginia Senate now has 21 Democrats to 19 Republicans. For every controversial bill that is a “party-line” vote, the Democrats can always win. It appears there will be many bills that move forward in that manner. And the Democrat governor will likely sign them into law.
I have already had many calls and emails from constituents asking me to defeat the bad bills. I explain that I stand against them and will vote against them, but they can still pass. We conservative legislators can discuss and try to change minds, but we are not able to vote down the bad bills as in the past.
I just want my constituents to know that I stand for the values of my district and will continue to vote that way, but the math of the vote count is against us. My focus will be to work toward bills to help our region.
We are in our offices in Richmond. My Legislative Aide, Mary Franklin, is staffing our office here, located in Room 301 East of the Pocahontas Building. You can contact us by sending an e-mail to DelDMarshall@house.virginia.gov or by sending a letter to me at PO Box 406, Richmond, VA 23218-0406, or by calling 804-698-1014.