Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Sea Formally Known as the Sea of Japan, Show Us the Money in the Special Session, Progressive Presser

I apologize for today’s late post.  I had seven meetings today, and the last one just ended.

Of yesterday’s three questions, “What will we call the sea between Korea and Japan?” is the only one answered today.  With the passage of Senator Marsden’s SB 2, we will now call this body of water the East Sea.  When I first saw this bill I had no idea that hundreds of Koreans would come to Richmond in support of this bill.  Nor did I know that the Japanese Consulate would hire one of Richmond’s most prestigious law firms to lobby against it.  Well, the South Koreans won!  Click here if you’d like to learn more about the history of this controversy.  SB 2 passed on a 82-16 vote.
In light of the passage of this bill, I’m seeking a sponsor of a 2015 bill to change the name of the James River back to its original Indian mane, Powhatan, a much more beautiful name.

We spent much of the day trying to convince all who would listen that the budgets introduced in the special session should include funding for teacher and support position salaries.
The Virginia Progressive Caucus held a press conference in support of Medicaid Expansion this morning.  Scott Surovell did an excellent job breaking down the benefits of expansion for each House District.  For the sake of example, he asserted that if we used all of the General Fund dollars freed up by the expansion for public education in the next biennium Fairfax would gain $27.6 million, Prince William would gain $21.1 million, Virginia Beach would gain $15.4 million, Danville would gain $1.87 million, and Franklin County would gain $1.72 million.  Sorovell assumed all the free dollars would go to public education.  It is more likely that 30% of it would go to education, but that would still be a tidy sum.