Friday, February 6, 2015

2015 General Assembly session update: Week 4

The Pogge Post

2015 General Assembly 

96th District, Virginia House of Delegates     February 6, 2015
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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
As the General Assembly concludes another busy week in Richmond, legislators are preparing for a session milestone: crossover. By the end of Tuesday, February 10, the House and Senate must complete work on their own legislation (except for the budget bill). To meet this timeline, the House and Senate recently held marathon committee meetings, with debate stretching late into the night. Concurrently, the floor sessions are increasingly lengthy as we wade through hundreds of bills. Amidst the usual partisan rhetoric, however, the House has passed significant legislation to protect property rights, improve access to health care, and reduce the cost of higher education. Additionally, several of my own bills have passed through committee and will soon be heard on the House floor. Look for updates on those bills in next week's newsletter!
Property Rights

Asset forfeiture made the headlines during 2014. Highlighted in a Washington Post article titled, "Stop and Seize," the practice was recognized as a potential violation of our constitutionally protected property rights. 


Current statutes permit law enforcement to seize a suspect's assets prior to conviction of a crime. The suspect must then prove that he or she lawfully acquired those assets. House Bill 1287, of which I am a co-patron, prohibits law enforcement from seizing assets until after an individual has been convicted of a crime and completed the appeals process. I believe citizens are innocent until proven guilty, and this legislation will protect innocent people from losing their property. 

As a mother of five and a grandmother of five, I understand firsthand the burden posed by the rising cost of higher education. For this reason, I am pleased that the House passed HB 1692, legislation giving students pursuing degrees in high-demand fields the option of a more affordable "flat-fee degree." Equally important is HB 2320, which establishes a new cooperative bachelor's degree program in Virginia. Through a combination of online, community college, or college/university courses, the initiative allows students to earn a bachelor's degree for just $4,000 per year.
Health Care

Earlier this week, the House passed "Right to Try" legislation giving terminally ill patients better access to life-saving treatments that have not yet been approved by the FDA. House Bill 1750 addresses the bureaucratic delays that often cause patients to miss opportunities to try experimental drugs. The full text of the bill is available online HERE. 

Support for Israel

 During this session, I introduced House Joint Resolution 659 encouraging support for the nation of Israel. I consider this a common-sense resolution underscoring our ties to Israel. With little fanfare, the bill passed unanimously with bipartisan support in the House Rules Committee. 

Yesterday, however, HJ 659 reached the House floor. As the vote occurred, nearly the entire Democratic caucus walked off the floor to indicate non-support. Given the opportunity to reconsider their votes, they failed to do so. A video of the vote is below, as is a related article. 

Virginia Democrats Flee Chamber Twice Rather Than Vote on Resolution in Support of Israel
Virginia Democrats Flee Chamber Twice Rather Than Vote on Resolution in Support of Israel


Empty Seats (Yahoo UK, February 5, 2015)

Around the District
Although the General Assembly is currently in Richmond, there are opportunities for political engagement at home. 

Local Republican Committees

James City County Republican Committee

York County Republican Committee


2015 Lincoln Reagan Gala 

featuring The Honorable Jim Gilmore

When: 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, 2015 

Where: Fort Magruder Hotel & Conference Center

6945 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, VA 23185

Tickets and RSVP information: click HERE 

General Assembly Visitors
Thank you to the following groups and organizations that sent representatives to Richmond this week!

Colonial Behavioral Health
Denbigh House
Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
Thomas Nelson Community College
United Jewish Community, Virginia Peninsula
Williamsburg United Methodist

Visitors from Thomas Nelson Community College

If you are in Richmond, please stop by my office for a visit. To reach me by phone or email, please call 804-698-1096 or email

Have a great weekend!
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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