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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Dec 01

The Hampton Roads Caucus of the Virginia General Assembly Meets

Posted on December 1, 2017 at 9:03 AM by Communications Department

Discusses priorities for the 2018 legislative session

The Hampton Roads Caucus of the Virginia General Assembly met on Wednesday, November 29 to discuss their priorities for the upcoming 2018 legislative session.  Caucus Chair Senator Bill DeSteph and Vice-chair Delegate Matthew James presided over the meeting.  Each member or their representative hadgeneral assembly the opportunity to briefly mention some of the legislation they intend to introduce.  Their lists include legislation that will: 
  • Set a gas tax floor for Hampton Roads
  • Provide funding for Port dredging
  • Establish the Commonwealth as a Nonfederal Sponsor of Hurricane and Flooding Risk Reduction Projects
  • Request a Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) study of the regional impact of Midtown and Downtown tunnel tolls and suggest strategies to mitigate the impact(s)
  • Bring Virginia into full compliance with the Federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) legislation
  • Allow Casino gambling
  • Request an update of the JLARC study of the PORT’s fiscal impact to host cities
  • Prohibit the Department of Medical Assistance Services from reducing, terminating, suspending, or denying services for an individual enrolled in a waiver who is otherwise eligible for such services on the basis of such individual's informed choice of place of residence in the Commonwealth
  • Increase the penalty for animal cruelty for companion animals
  • Prevent repeated placement of dangerous dogs
  • Create an opioid task force to study fatalities
  • Require that candidates who were chosen by a primary be identified by party on a ballot
  • Disrupt the school to prison pipeline
  • Provide funding to mitigate issues at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail 
Caucus members expressed some concern about the availability of resources in the upcoming budget. Thus far, expectations are that funding for the 2018-2020 biennium will be adequate for what is required but with little above and beyond what is needed.  The budget picture will come into much greater focus when Governor McAuliffe presents his final budget at a joint meeting of the money committees on December 18.  Meanwhile, Monday, December 4 is the deadline for legislators to pre-file bills.  As of yesterday morning there were over 100 bills and resolutions already posted to the legislative information system and more will be added each day until after the session begins.