Richmond Report - First Week of Session

The 2017 General Assembly Session officially began on Wednesday, January 11, and my fellow delegates and I are working hard to complete the Commonwealth's business, including making adjustments to the state’s two-year budget. This year's session is known as the "short session," as we will be in Richmond for only 45 days.

As you may know, I held several town hall meetings across the district last week, and I was grateful for the many ideas and feedback provided by constituents as I prepared for this year’s session. I look forward each year to continuing to serve as your voice to the General Assembly.

As your delegate, I serve on four committees: the Committee on Courts of Justice; the Committee on Finance; the Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee; and the Commerce and Labor Committee. I also serve as chair of several subcommittees as well as the Conservative Caucus.

  • In addition, I have submitted the following legislation for consideration to make government more efficient and accountable:
    HB 1677 – Recorded Votes – Requires all legislation introduced by a member of the House of Delegates or the Senate to be considered by the committee of purview or a subcommittee thereof and receive a recorded vote.
  • HB 2221 – Joint Subcommittee to Evaluate Professional and Occupational Licensing Requirements – Creates the Joint Subcommittee to Evaluate Professional and Occupational Licensing Requirements for the purposes of timely reviewing each of the statutory and regulatory professional and occupational licensing requirements of the regulatory boards within the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.
  • HB 2233 – Health benefit plans offered by out-of-state health insurers – Authorizes Virginians to purchase health insurance from out-of-state health insurer that sells individual or group health benefit plans in the Commonwealth. The measure establishes requirements applicable to such sales, including registration, disclosures, compliance with marketing standards, and financial condition. The measure has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2018.
  • HB 2226 – Individual income tax rate reduction – Reduces the top marginal individual income tax rate from 5.75 percent on income in excess of $17,000 to five percent on income in excess of $5,000 beginning with taxable year 2018.
  • HB 2237 – Extension of the Jurisdiction of the Office of the State Inspector General – Extends the jurisdiction of the Office of the State Inspector General by way of amending the definition of "state agency" to include any board, bureau, commission, council, or instrumentality of a political subdivision of the Commonwealth funded by state funds.
    These are just five of the bills I plan to introduce during this year's General Assembly.

If you would like to follow my legislation, or that of any other member of the Virginia General Assembly, you may do so at lis.virginia.gov. In addition, you can click here to watch the live session of the House of Delegates, which typically begins at Noon each day.

As always, I look forward to hearing and seeing folks from back home in the district. If you will be in the Richmond area during session, I would love for you to come see me and visit my office. While I will frequently be in session or committee meetings, you can call or email to set an appointment to ensure that I will be available. If you would like to reach me or need assistance, please contact me at my Richmond office at 804-698-1024 or by email at DelBCline@house.virginia.gov. Additionally, written correspondence can be sent to P.O. Box 406, Richmond, Virginia 23218.

Ben Cline