Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Welcome to the 2020 General Assembly Session

History was made today in Virginia. For the first time in the 401-year history of the House of Delegates, a woman was elected Speaker! VEA Fund-recommended and long-time friend of public education, Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn, is now Madame Speaker.

The new Speaker nominated another woman as Clerk of the House, Suzette Denslow, also sworn in today. Adding to the history was the group of staff from the Clerk's office that sits on the dais—all women. I bet that picture will be on the front page of every newspaper in the Commonwealth tomorrow.

The Democrats have a 55-45 majority in the House.

Over in the Senate new leadership was also sworn in, but as the Lt. Governor presides over the body, it wasn't as dramatic. We are still delighted to have another good friend, Senator Louise Lucas, sworn in as the President Pro Tempore. Senate Clerk Susan Clarke Schaar will continue to serve in that role.

The Democrats have a 21-19 majority in the Senate.

It was a great day for the women of the Commonwealth!

Today involved a lot of ceremonial business, but tomorrow we will get to the real work of session. Committee assignments are expected, and bills will start being heard. Please make sure you follow along this session on the blog and stay engaged throughout session. There is a lot of work to get done during this long session, the biggest of which is the 2020-2022 Biennial budget.

For now, we enjoy the day and celebrate electing a Pro-Public Education Majority in Virginia!

The Governor will give his State of the Commonwealth Address tonight at 7pm. You can watch online and on your local PBS channel.