Friday, January 24, 2014

2014 General Assembly Update: Week RSVP for District Day!

The Pogge Post

2014 General Assembly Update:  Week 3

96th District, Virginia House of Delegates     January 24, 2014
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During Session:

General Assembly Building

Room 403

Capitol Square

Richmond, VA 23219



Please send mail to:

P.O. Box 196

Norge, VA 23127
Legislative Aide
Amanda Johnston
This week's weather roller coaster--60 degrees on Monday, snow on Tuesday, and lingering arctic air--mirrors a tumultuous week inside Virginia's capitol. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day brought thousands of visitors to the General Assembly Building.  The halls and elevators were filled with Virginians who chose to spend their holiday in Richmond and take the opportunity to share their opinions with legislators. Wednesday was equally busy, as several high profile bills, including Sunday hunting, the Tebow Bill, and the Farm Bill were heard in committee. Wednesday also marked the passage of my first bill, House Bill 527, which is profiled below. 

Also on Wednesday, I ran into my friend, former Delegate Mike Watson, who was in Richmond to advocate on behalf of bills that are on the legislative agenda of the Business Development Caucus (BDC).  As you may recall, Mike established the BDC to champion legislation ensuring that Virginia is attractive to entrepreneurs and conducive to job creation. Although Virginia's low unemployment rate and continued addition of new jobs are encouraging, House Republicans remain committed to prioritizing job growth. A recognized need in Virginia is training for today's manufacturing job opportunities. Highlighted below is a budget amendment that I am sponsoring to provide funding for planning the construction of an Advanced Manufacturing Center at Thomas Nelson Community College.

On Thursday, legislators were greeted with the news of Attorney General Mark Herring's refusal to defend the Virginia Constitution. This blatant disregard for fulfilling the duties of the Attorney General establishes a sobering precedent.  To read House Speaker William Howell's response, click HERE.

As is usual on Fridays, the day concluded quietly with most legislators leaving immediately after session to return home to their districts.  Virginia offers a true system of citizen legislators, so please be sure to continue writing and calling me so that I can share your feedback with my colleagues in the General Assembly. 
Mark your calendar for District Day!
On Tuesday, February 18, I will host a District Day in Richmond.  If you are a resident of the 96th District and desire to learn more about the legislative process, please mark your calendar!  The day will run from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.  Lunch will be provided, and there is no charge to attend this event.  Attendees are limited to the first twenty respondents from the 96th District, so please reply promptly!  To RSVP, call 804-698-1096 or email  A detailed agenda will be provided as the date approaches.  
2014 Budget Amendment: Support for Higher Education
Today's changing workplace presents new opportunities and challenges for Virginians. In response to identified workforce needs, I am requesting funding to plan construction of an Advanced Manufacturing Center at Thomas Nelson Community College.  This investment will support current workers in the manufacturing sector and also offer training for veterans, entrepreneurs, and students who are seeking to enter the growing field of advanced manufacturing.  The development of this Center will benefit the entire Hampton Roads region by providing workers with the skills demanded by contemporary employers.  To view the budget amendment, click HERE.
2014 Legislation:  Bringing Virginia into compliance with the Federal Fair Housing Act
House Bill 527 will bring Virginia law into compliance with the Federal Fair Housing Act and prevent interpretations that may jeopardize the ability of individuals with disabilities to live in Virginia's communities. The law also protects localities that may be at risk of lawsuits due to interpretation of the current law.  The bill passed with unanimous support in subcommittee, full committee, and on the floor of the House. As chair of the Disability Commission, I am excited about the passage of this legislation and believe it will help individuals with intellectual disabilities to live in their home community, where they enjoy the support of a network of friends and family.
Visitors in the General Assembly Building
Because I spent so much time in committee, I did not have a chance to personally meet with as many visitors this week. Stopping by my office in Richmond were the following individuals and groups:

Mike Watson: former 93rd House District Delegate
Nate Green: Williamsburg-James City County Commonwealth's Attorney
Walt Latham: York County General Registrar
Jacqui Carrington
Dr. Timothy Farrell
Carolyn Greathouse
Wayne Moyer
John Schwenkler
Alice Marie Schwenkler

Visitors Welcome!
As always, if you are in Richmond during the upcoming weeks, please stop by my office in Room 403 of the General Assembly Building located at the corner of 9th and Broad Streets. 
Have a great weekend--stay warm!
Delegate Brenda Pogge

Paid for and Authorized by Brenda Pogge for Delegate
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Brenda Pogge for Delegate | P.O. Box 196 | Norge | VA | 23127

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