Virginia Capitol Connections Summer 2022

Virginia Capitol Connections, Summer 2022 10 Season Wrap Up from New Legislators By Delegate Jason Ballard What initially surprised me are the hours involved. From the outside, it is easy to assume legislation moves slowly simply because lawmakers are not working hard. Rarely is this the case. As legislators, we answer to the people. Though this may sound simple enough, Virginia is an incredibly diverse state with equally diverse interests. As we allocate Virginia’s finite resources, tough decisions must be made, and every Virginian has a right to be heard. This process naturally takes time. So, while change may seem to happen slowly, we actually work in a very fast-paced environment, often from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.” The second surprise was that many of the bills passed by the House did so with broad bipartisan support. Though there will always be divisive, hot button issues, the laborious process every bill goes through tends to separate the wheat from the chaff and iron out any lingering issues. As a result, when legislation comes to the floor, it is common for both sides to work together and do what is right for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Delegate Jason Ballard is a Republican representing the 12th District, which includes Giles, Radford, and part of Montgomery and Pulaski. By Delegate Mike Cherry I am often asked how I am finding Session. Of course, there are a million ways I could answer. But the one I choose most readily is that “I love it.” As a freshman delegate, I had little expectation of what the House was going to be like. I came in with an open mind and the sound advice from senior members to listen and observe. I sought to learn as much as I could as quickly as I could. To that end, this year has been a success. I feel that I have learned a great deal about the legislative process as a whole. Being part of the Republican team has been a joy as we work to accomplish what we promised we would on the campaign trail. “Promises made, promises kept” has been our motto. What I have enjoyed the most is getting to know legislators from both sides of the aisle. It is nice to hear their stories from—and to learn about—the different regions of the Commonwealth. As legislators, we try to represent our individual districts. All of our districts, while very different, have many similarities. Overall, I am grateful for the opportunity to represent the people of Colonial Heights and Chesterfield and look forward to learning more about them as I continue to serve. Delegate Mike Cherry is a Republican representing the 66th District, which includes Colonial Heights. By Delegate Jackie Hope Glass I came into the General Assembly with a mindset of returning to school. So, the surprises were few, but the lessons were expansive. As a person that loves data, I was surprised to learn that 53 percent of the legislators were born outside of Virginia. However, my biggest surprise and lesson was that the Appropriation Act (Budget) supersedes any other provision of law. Delegate Jackie Hope Glass is a Democrat representing the 89th District, in Norfolk. By Delegate Michelle Maldonado There were many surprising experiences during our session, but one of the most notable was the speed of the process. Things moved like lightning. In fact, when walking through the halls, you’d often hear people joking that it was like drinking from a firehose. Nonetheless, we all remained very honored and excited to be here and committed to doing the very best for the good people of the Commonwealth. The second notable mention that was delightfully surprising was the number of Delegates, Senators, and staff who understood the power of bringing people together to find common ground and move forward. I was pleased to work with those who showed up with wisdom, compassion, and assistance to collaborate across party lines with me, to move our agendas forward, to resolve conflicting legislation, and to create new opportunities (like our new Technology & Innovation Caucus) to ensure that Virginia families, communities, and businesses thrive. Finally, I was pleasantly surprised by the level of details and steps involved in committee collaborations during the bill-making process. I enjoyed serving as a member of both the Education and Privileges and Elections Committees and the K-12 and Campaign Finance Reform Subcommittees. Respectively, where I learned the ins and outs of the lawmaking process. These committees helped reveal the important role we each serve in protecting our children, parents, extended families and communities as we strive for a vibrant and flourishing Virginia for all. Delegate Michelle Maldonado is a Democrat representing the 50th District, which includes Manassas and part of PrinceWilliam County. By Delegate Anne Ferrell Tata I was not a stranger to the General Assembly so I knew the workload was great and the daily calendar fills up quickly. From subcommittee meetings to committees, for my own bills and for others in my assigned committees, the days start early and end late. In some ways, the daily floor sessions are the easiest part of the day. Much of the work is done before bills are considered on the floor. • past editions online • subscribe • advertise WWW. VCCQM . ORG