Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The 2016 General Assembly Session begins

Today is the first day of the 2016 General Assembly session. For the next 60 days, the 140 members of the legislature will debate thousands of bills ranging from education and transportation to public safety and veterans affairs. Additionally, they must work together with the governor to develop the 2017-2018 biennial budget.  

Right now there are hundreds, if not thousands, of bills that have been filed with the House and Senate Clerk's Office and we expect to see many more coming online in the next few days. Some of the major themes we’re seeing in education include additional changes to the Standards of Learning assessments and school accountability, weapons on school campuses, workforce readiness and CTE, virtual and blended learning, and school choice. Your VSBA lobbying team has been very busy meeting with legislators, reading bills, and developing our overall strategy to ensure success for our students, schools, and local school boards.

Be sure to visit the
 VSBA Legislative Blog throughout session to get updates and details about what’s happening in Richmond. Additionally, we’ll be providing quick updates on the VSBA Twitter Handle – @VASchoolBoards. I would also encourage you to review the latest edition of the VSBA newsletter which includes an article about “Preparing for the 2016 General Assembly Session.”

Finally, don’t forget to attend the upcoming
 VSBA Capital Conference February 10-11 at the Richmond Marriott. This conference offers you an opportunity to interact with your legislators and advocate for your school division and public education. You will receive key presentations on Virginia’s political landscape and updates on legislation and the state budget. In addition to the presentation, you will have the opportunity to hear directly from Governor Terry McAuliffe, Secretary of Education Anne Holton, Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones, and Dr. Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System as well as attend the always-popular VSBA Legislative Reception. We look forward to seeing you in Richmond!