by Del. Margaret B. Ransone
The 2017 General Assembly session adjourned nearly two weeks ago and I am so happy to be home surrounded by my family and friends.
I am proud to report that so far the governor has signed into law four of my seven bills that passed the House and Senate. The status of all of my legislation can be found at virginiageneralassembly.gov.
Undoubtedly, our most important task of the 2017 session was amending the Commonwealth’s two-year state budget and I’m proud to report that the House and Senate passed a conservative, responsible and balanced budget that does not include any tax or fee increases.
Through many Republican-led initiatives and conservative budgeting, we were able to take significant steps toward strengthening Virginia’s economy, improving our education system and charting a responsible fiscal course for the future by investing in the core functions of government.
As we continue to offer a positive governing vision for the Commonwealth, public education continues to be one of the most important topics that is addressed each year and we are committed to maintaining and improving Virginia’s strong K-12 system. Despite the budget shortfall, we were able to build on our 2016 investments and further promote flexibility for local schools by sending an additional $191 million, or 35% of lottery funds back to localities with no strings attached. Additionally, we’ve secured $32 million for a 2% teacher pay raise, with no local match required, effective February 2018.
Ultimately, the counties in the 99th District will receive nearly $154 million in funding from the Commonwealth in 2017 and 2018.
My House Bill 1727, which provides that under certain circumstances Northern Neck school divisions are not subject to the prohibition against hiring school division employees who are related to a member of the school board, along with continued educational reforms, will improve access to a quality education and be a key driver in the long-term economic success of our region.
Although the 46-day regular session of the 2017 General Assembly has adjourned, we will reconvene April 5 to consider the governor’s vetoes and recommendations.
I am truly honored to represent the 99th District and strive to make Virginia a better place to live, work and raise a family.
Contact my office, 698-1099, or email@example.com with questions or concerns related to state government.