01/15/2018 House Proceedings

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Called to order at 12 m. by M. Kirkland Cox, Speaker

Mace placed on Speaker's table by Sergeant at Arms

Prayer offered by The Honorable G. Paul Nardo, Clerk, Virginia House of Delegates, Richmond

Delegate Gilbert led the House in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America

Attendance roll call - Quorum present

Leaves of Absence granted: Delegates Murphy, Orrock, Poindexter, and Toscano

Journal for Saturday, January 13, 2018, approved by the Speaker

Committee Report for:

Finance reported on 01/15/2018

Bills and resolution presented, ordered printed, and referred pursuant to House Rule 37

Resolution presented and laid on Speaker's table pursuant to House Rule 39(a)

Motion by Delegate Gilbert to recess agreed toHouse recessed at 12:32 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

House reconvened at 6:30 p.m.

Joint Assembly convened at 6:45 p.m.

Roll call of the Senate - Quorum present

Roll call of the House - Quorum present

Joint Assembly resolution (Notifying Governor of organization) agreed to

Governor Ralph S. Northam addressed the Joint Assembly

Motion by Senator Spruill to print 1000 copies of Governor's address as Senate Document No. 1C agreed to

Motion by Senator Sturtevant to adjourn Joint Assembly sine die agreed to

Business of House resumed

Motion by Delegate Gilbert to adjourn agreed to
House adjourned at 7:53 p.m. to meet Tuesday, January 16, 2018, at 12 m.


What follows is a transcript of this day’s session that was created as closed-captioning text, written in real time during the session. We have made an effort to automatically clean up the text, but it is far from perfect.

To keep pace with their peers across the commonwealth so that every child can enter the workforce ready to succeed on day one. [applause] finally, as we build an education system that prepares every child to succeed, we should make sure schools have the resources to educate students with special needs or learning disabilities. In my medical practice, I treat a lot of young people with disabilities. These young men and women overcome huge challenges to live and learn among their peers. We have a responsibility to help them reach their full potential in the least restrictive environment possible. Education is a key predictor of a person's prospects for lifetime success. And so is health care. We are in the midst of a revolution with respect to how we research, prevent, and treat a range of conditions that have historically cost too many people their productivity or even their lives. I want Virginia to lead that revolution and to reap the economic benefits it will bring. Tonight we are joined by a remarkable young man who embodies the hope that this new age of medicine offers. I would like you all to meet jennifer and bobby bartholomew and their son levi, who are joining us tonight from Hampton roads. Jennifer called me when levi was three months old, concerned that he was getting weaker every day. Fearing the worst, I told her we needed to see him right away. Within days, he was seen, evaluated, and began referring treatment to spinal muscular atrophy type 1, a disease that is fatal within several months if left untreated. Thanks to the incredible progress we are making in treating diseases like levi's, he just celebrated his first birthday and his mother told me that he recently rolled over for the first time during the christmas holidays. [applause]
Thank you so much for joining me in welcoming levi, jennifer, bobby and their doctor, Dr. Crystal proud, for joining us tonight. Thank you so much for being here tonight, we really appreciate it. [applause] and for my former colleagues from the Virginia Senate, I hope Senator Stanley and Senator Carrico are here in particular, can you believe -- can you believe that we have not one, but two pediatric neurologists here in the House tonight?! [laughter and applause] right now, researchers are using personalized medicine to develop a cure for levi's condition and they are getting very close. Whoever finally identifies a therapy and commercializes it will save lives and create jobs. If we support the great work happening at the carilion-Virginia tech research institute, the inova center for personalized medicine, and facilities all across our state, that breakthrough and many others like it will happen here in Virginia. [applause] levi's story is a powerful reminder of the potential of modern medicine and also the incredible value of access to health insurance and treatment. That is why I am committed to working with the men and women of the general assembly to expand medicaid this year. [cheers and applause] we have had this discussion for many years. The arguments are well-known. Medicaid expansion is an opportunity to bring our tax dollars home and transform the lives of nearly 400,000 people who lack coverage today. The proposal currently before us will create tens of thousands of new jobs, save the commonwealth more than $400 million over the biennium, reduce the strain on rural hospitals, and help combat our mental health and addiction crises. As a physician, I believe that expanding medicaid is a matter of basic economic justice. [applause] every year, I visit the remote area medical clinic in Wise County to help thousands of people get check-ups and treatment that they usually cannot access because they don't have health insurance. If you have never visited ram, I hope you will join me this year and witness for yourselves the incredible dedication and generosity of the men and women who put this annual event together. I will warn you, it can be a difficult day. Every single virginian you meet is someone's son or daughter, and many tell tales of the daily agony they experience dealing with preventable health challenges. At ram clinics over the years, I have diagnosed people with treatable conditions who suffered for years because they never had the resources to see a neurologist. These men and women are not living the lives they deserve. They are not making their fullest contribution to their communities or our economy. But they can be. If we join 32 other states and bring our tax dollars home to expand medicaid, many of these virginians who currently get health care one day a year will have access the other 364. [cheers and applause] they will be better able to work, to provide for their families, and to give back to their communities. Now, bipartisanship has been the watchword of the first few days of this session, and for that I am thankful. We all recognize the extraordinary changes that voters made to this assembly in November. They expect us to deliver on the mandate they sent. Expanding medicaid is the best way for us to make life better for virginians and truly open a new era of policymaking in the commonwealth of Virginia. Let's get it done this year. [cheers and applause] as we work to expand health coverage, we should also make it easier for Virginia women to access reproductive health care and oppose any effort to make it harder. [applause] quality and affordable women's health care is a constitutional right and an economic imperative. It is also a personal decision. There are many places where government can be an incredible force for good, but the space between a woman and her doctor is not one of them. [applause] so this year, let's work together to repeal limitations on a woman's right to make her own health care decisions and please help me expand access to long-acting reversible contraceptives. [applause] we should also work together this year to address the public health crisis of gun violence. Gunshots kill more people in Virginia every year than car accidents, but if you walk into the right gun show, it's easier to get a firearm than it is to rent a car. This issue is not a new one for the general assembly, but this is a new general assembly. [cheers and applause] there are many actions we should take over our time together to save lives by reducing gun violence. Let's start by keeping guns out of the hands of people who can't pass a background check. Plus plaus [applause] the Senate courts of justice committee rejected this legislation this morning on partisan lines, along with several other bills aimed at preventing gun crimes. That is disappointing, but this issue is not going away. [applause] as long as virginians' lives are at risk because there are too many guns in the hands of people who would use them to harm others, we will fight on this ground. [applause] as long as schools, churches, offices, and concert venues are exposed to horrific, preventable violence, we will fight on this ground. [applause] as long as the people who sent us all here continue to cry out for solutions to the epidemic of gun violence, we will fight on this ground. [applause] no partisan allegiance or special interest influence is more valuable than the life of the next virginian we will lose to gun violence, or the one after that. We must act together this year to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them. [applause] building a better Virginia for everyone means embracing and leveraging the incredible diversity of the people who live here. This commonwealth is home to people from every corner of the globe, every faith tradition, every political perspective, and every income level. We are also home to people who too often face discrimination or unnecessary obstacles to equality. As we begin our work, let's ensure that all virginians can realize their potential, no matter who they are, where they live, or whom they love. [applause] voting is the most fundamental action a citizen can take in a democracy. Choosing leaders and holding them accountable is how citizens shape the future for all of us. If we really believe in a system where the people are in charge, we should work together to eliminate barriers to the ballot box instead of building them higher. Unfortunately, Virginia law imposes many onerous and unnecessary restrictions on voting that discourage participation for many people. Let's reverse that troubling trend by passing no-excuse absentee voting. [applause] so more people can have a say in their future without jumping through unnecessary hoops. This commonsense reform will make voting easier, reduce lines on election day, and send a simple message that in Virginia, we want more voters, not fewer. As a native of the eastern shore, a scientist, and a resident of Hampton roads, I can tell you personally that no matter what politicians in Washington say, climate change is real. [applause] sea levels are rising. It affects us every day. For anyone who has trouble believing that, I hope you'll join Delegate rob Bloxom and Senator lynn Lewis and take a trip to us to tangier island with me sometime and neat the people whose way -- meet the people whose way of life is already being altered by this global crisis. As you know, last year governor mcauliffe signed an executive directive to begin the process of capping carbon emissions from Virginia 's electric utilities and use the power of the market to foster growth and innovation in the clean energy sector. The clean energy Virginia initiative is an incredible opportunity to create the next generation of energy jobs and lead the fight against climate change, and my administration will implement it fully. [applause] I will also support a bill this session that will allow us to take full advantage of this process by joining a coalition of states called the regional greenhouse gas initiative, or rggi. With your approval, we can invest the significant revenues clean energy Virginia will generate to create clean energy jobs in rural communities, help families lower their electrical bills, and solidify our position as a global leader in renewable energy. [applause] on the first day of this session, governor mcauliffe spoke to you about the importance of second chances in our criminal justice system. I was proud to stand beside him as he made history by restoring more civil rights to former offenders than any governor in american history. [applause] my team and I will continue that policy over the next four years so that men and women who make mistakes and serve their time can reenter society as full partners in our democracy, not second-class citizens. We should also work together this session to join the rest of the nation and raise the threshold for felony larceny. [applause] Virginia 's threshold has not changed since 1980. It is the lowest in america. There is no excuse for the criminal act of theft, but a teenager who steals one used iphone or a pair of boots should not have his entire life defined by that one mistake. [applause] this year we should make the dream of a college education more attainable by tackling the difficult issue of rising student debt. I have proposed a borrower's bill of rights to protect virginians from predatory student lenders, as well as a state ombudsman to connect virginians with resources and information to help them pay their loans as soon as possible. [applause] you know, it's not good to sit for so long. It's good to get up and stretch every now and then, so I 'm glad I could help you all out. [applause] all right. Finally, during the campaign I was encouraged to see leaders in the other party agree to close a loophole in our ethics laws that allows public officials to spend campaign money for personal use. [applause] this step will assure virginians that we are here to serve their interests, not our own. These proposals are solutions to problems that stand between us and the future of our fellow virginians, the future that they deserve. The leaders in this room May have other ideas to tackle them or other challenges that you believe should be higher priorities than these. I am eager to begin those discussions with you. I also recognize that there will be moments when political considerations, regional disagreement, or unforeseen challenges May threaten our ability to stay focused on the problems virginians asked us to solve. Our counterparts in Washington, d.C., remind us daily of how easy it is to allow good-faith ideological disagreements to devolve into partisan warfare that drowns out the needs of the people. In Virginia, we're better than that. Virginians are counting on us to answer big challenges with big solutions, even if that requires us to put the common good ahead of our own partisan interests. They are counting on us to use every dollar they send us wisely, to the greatest possible benefit to our economy and their lives. They are counting on us to fight for every person, even those who May not have the loudest voices here in Richmond. They are counting on us to deal with each other with civility and understanding, ready to acknowledge that we all came here with the goal of helping the people we serve. They are counting on us to work together to solve these problems and make Virginia work better for everyone, no matter who they are or where they live. And I firmly believe we are up to that task. Thank you so much. May God bless you and May God bless this great commonwealth of Virginia. Thank you all so much. [cheers and applause] [gavel banging] >> The joint assembly will come to order. The Senator from northern Chesapeake, Senator Spruill. [inaudible comments] >> As many as favor that motion will say aye. [ayes expressed]
Those opposed will say no. The motion is agreed to. The Senator from Richmond city, Senator Sturtevant .
Mr. President, I move that the joint assembly adjourn tonight sine die. >> As many as favor the motion will say aye. [ayes expressed]
Opposed will say know. The motion is agreed to. The joint assembly is adjourned sine die. [applause] I would ask all the House members and guests to remain seated as the Senate exits the chamber. >> Mr. Speaker, thank you, I really appreciate it. [no audio] [gavel banging]
Kirk Cox
Again, House members please remain seated as I request that our distinguished guest onto -- on the floor and in the gallery now depart the chamber. [gavel banging] >> The House will come to order. Does the clerk have any announcements. >> Nos, Mr. Speaker. >> The Delegate from shen snow, Delegate Gilbert .
Mr. Speaker, I move that the House adjourn this evening, it adjourn to reconvene tomorrow at 12:00 noon. >> The Delegate moves that when the House adjourn today, it adjourn to reconvene tomorrow at 12:00 noon. As many as favor that motion will say aye. Those opposed no. The motion is agreed to. The Delegate from Shenandoah, delegation Gilbert. >> In stee, modify that the House do now adjourn.
The Delegate from shen show moves the House now adjourn. As many as favor that motionly aye. Those opposed no. The motion is agreed to.