The General Assembly Session adjourned sine die on Feb. 25, following the approval of a $107 billion biennial budget. The budget includes pay raises for local and state employees, teachers, state troopers, sheriff departments, additional education funding, funds for career development program for constitutional officers and investment in mental health.
My legislation HB 2332, HB 2423 and HB 1615 are on their way to be signed by Gov. Terry McAullife and will become law on July 1.
I was honored to be selected as the 2017 Legislative Champion by the Virginia Education Association for my legislation (HB 2332) that was passed by the House and Senate — which included the language in the state code that reads it is “a goal of the Commonwealth to increase teacher salary at a competitive level at or above the national average.” Teachers in Virginia earn an average salary of $48,250 a year compared to the national average of $56,000. This year’s budget includes a 2 percent increase in teacher salary that will help to address the salary disparity. Virginia struggles to hire and retain qualified teachers. The teacher shortage is reaching a crisis level in the Commonwealth. Additionally, Lunenburg, Sussex, Surry, Brunswick counties and the cities of Franklin, Petersburg and 32 other localities will receive additional money in the budget from lottery proceeds to offset loss of revenue of localities due to a decline in pupil enrollment and population over the last five years. This money may be allocated toward increasing teacher salaries, hiring new teachers, equipment or for any purpose without a local funding match requirement.
I introduced HB 2423 at the request of Mayor Kenneth Warf and the Jarratt Town Council. The Town of Jarratt was encountering problems regulating the use of golf carts due to current state law. HB 2423 approval will include the Town of Jarratt among six other localities who have the authority to regulate and drive golf cart on public roadway.
• HB 1615 will allow chief medical examiners of the Virginia Department of Health to appoint medical examiners from districts to assist in death investigations, aligning the law with office practice and procedures and term of service to the Commonwealth.
• HB 1900 enabled landowners to seek $100 fine for dogs running or chasing on their property. This bill prohibited a hunting tradition that is a vital part of Southside heritage. I opposed and spoke against HB 1900 with bipartisan support and it was defeated 48-47. It was important that I stand and fight for hunters and sportsman’s rights in Southside Virginia.
Other legislation of interest includes SB 817, which allows travel to and from a job interview to the list of purposes for the issuance of a restricted driver’s license
• SB 854 allows a payment plan 30 to 60 days after judgment or sentencing to pay court fines, fees and restitution to prevent driver’s license suspension.
• HB 1939 – Hunters can now wear blaze pink instead of having to wear blaze orange.
On April 5, all legislators will return to Richmond for Veto Session.
Currently, I am returning to my district office on 423 Main St., Emporia. It is a pleasure to serve as your representative of the 75th District.
Thank you for your continuous support.
Roslyn Tyler, (D) House of Delegates, 75th District. She can be reached at 434-336-1710. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.