Virginia’s fiscal year began on July 1. Most new laws went into effect on that day as well.
For the last week or so, the media has been bringing to your attention the highlights of new legislation voted on by the General Assembly. Over the course of the past several months in this column, I have tried to provide you with some insight into the legislative process and the variety of bills that will directly impact most Virginians. For the most in-depth coverage of new laws, I suggest that you go on line to the General Assembly website: legis.virginia.gov. You will be able to track bills by their number, the patron, the subject etc. Additionally, expect to receive my annual newsletter in the mail soon. The Richmond Report will also be posted at dicksaslaw.com for your convenience and review. This synopsis is meant to bring to your attention some noteworthy legislation, including some bills that were debated unsuccessfully.
This week we celebrated Independence Day. The 4th of July is a day marked by parades, barbecues and fireworks. Last week the Supreme Court delivered its legal opinion on the Affordable Care Act. No matter what your personal opinion on the matter might be, the review was the final component of the checks and balance of power of each branch of government in our democracy. The foresight of our Founding Fathers continues to shine through after many years of public debate, stalemate and often times uncivil discourse. It is my hope that Congress will rededicate itself to getting through the gridlock on Capitol Hill. Now is the time to “get over it” and move on. This November 6 we have the opportunity to remind elected officials of their roles and responsibilities in our government of the people, for the people and by the people. Make sure you are registered to vote and are aware of the new voter identification requirements at the polls instituted by the General Assembly.
Hopefully by now, our region will be functionally more normally in the aftermath of last Friday night’s storm. Mother Nature came through with a fury! Our region was particularly hard hit and required extra hands on deck to clear the trees from the streets, repair downed lines, restore power to emergency centers and millions who have spent days in sweltering heat. Let’s hope we have seen the worse of the summer storms. The response crews working in the adverse conditions deserve special thanks for their tireless efforts. Please remember to have an emergency plan and essentials as we continue into hurricane season which goes through November 1.
Senator Saslaw represents the 35th District in the Virginia State Senate. He may be e-mailed at [email protected]