Four hundred years is a very long time. For
that entire period, Virginia has been governed by a representative legislative
body. From the Jamestown settlement in 1619 to Williamsburg to Richmond, the
House of Delegates (formerly House of Burgesses) has met each year to pass laws
– some good and some bad – reflecting the preferences of those who elected us to
We convened on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, for this 400th
anniversary session, and, as with all 399 sessions before, the issues we will
discuss are important to the people of Virginia.
SOME THINGS TO WATCH INCLUDE:
Virginia become the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights
Amendment, so it will be placed into the U.S. Constitution? This is one
of my priorities, but past efforts to get an ERA resolution onto the floor of
the House of Delegates have been stymied by committees controlled by
conservative lawmakers. Expect some close votes. A Senate committee passed the
resolution Wednesday on an 8-6 vote, and so the Senate will be voting on that
resolution during the coming week. The House version has not yet been heard.
Virginia join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
(RGGI), a major effort by a consortium of states to reduce
greenhouse gases, which addresses a major cause of climate change while bringing
additional revenue to the Commonwealth? I will be carrying this very
significant measure, and I hope it does not fall prey to partisan bickering.
• Will the General Assembly act to limit the Trump Tax
Plan’s impact on Virginia taxpayers? The Governor has a plan to combine
targeted tax relief with strategic investments in education, environmental
protection, and broadband—critical to a successful future for our children and
our state. I support it!
• Will Virginia allow casinos?
I do not yet have a definite position and am continuing to learn more from both
advocates and opponents; I would love to hear my constituents’ thoughts on the
• Can we (finally) pass a Virginia constitutional amendment to
create an independent non-partisan redistricting commission
and end gerrymandering? If we can pass a bill this year, that would be
the first step; and if we hope to have non-partisan redistricting happen in
2021, we must get that first step accomplished this session. I support it, as I
have for years.
• Can we limit the role of ‘big
money’ in politics? I am supporting two bills to do this – one to
restrict the amount individuals can contribute to a candidate’s campaign, and
another to prohibit publicly-regulated utilities from giving to campaigns at
• Will we provide more tools for consumers seeking relief from rising
health care costs? I have three bills to do this: one will clarify the
Bureau of Insurance’s ability to provide rebates when consumers are overcharged,
the second will require health insurance providers to provide more information
to the Bureau about the basis of any rate increases so they may be better
scrutinized, and the third will inject more pricing transparency about the costs
of various medical procedures so that customers can shop for the best price and
obtain a financial benefit if they save money.
• Will we enact any gun
safety measures this year? Only one gun safety measure
passed in 2018. In this session, I am supporting measures that create universal
background checks and restrict the purchase of automatic weapons, and am
sponsoring a bill that will allow courts to intervene to prevent youngsters from
getting access to guns if they are having mental health challenges.
The 2019 session is a “short” 46 days, and we will adjourn
on February 23. Although there are not as many bills to consider this
year since delegates are limited to filing 15 (and Senators may file not more
than 25 each), I will still look to my constituents to let me know which bills,
and which issues, matter the most to them. If there is an issue upon which you
have a position, please do not hesitate to email me at DelDToscano@house.virginia.gov,
so that my staff and I can have the benefit of your thoughts.
TAKE MY SURVEY
important way to help me know what is important to the people of the 57th
District is my annual survey, which should arrive in your mailboxes soon. Please
take a few moments to complete and return yours; if you do not receive one,
please call my Richmond office at 804-698-1057 so we can arrange to get one to
Delegate David Toscano (electronic mail, January 14, 2019)
VISIT DURING SESSION
please come see us if you are in Richmond during the session. We are in Room
E210 of the Pocahontas Building, 900 East Main Street.