As I begin my second year of service to the 16th House District in the General Assembly, I again look forward to this opportunity to represent the people of Southside Virginia over the next several weeks in Richmond.
Please know that I continue to recognize the privilege of holding this office and will exercise my responsibilities with constant attention to the oath administered to me last year.
Pursuant to Virginia’s Constitution, this regular session, commonly referred to as the “short session,” is scheduled to continue for 30 days.
As I did last year, I began the first day by attending the Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast this past Wednesday morning.
I appreciated the occasion to join with other government leaders in bowing to our Creator with requests for His wisdom and blessings.
I was heartened also to spend a few moments with several local elected leaders and members of our local judiciary who chose to begin 2015 with this act of devotion.
The work ahead follows the extended session from last year where most of the budget concerns have already been addressed for this biennium.
It is my hope that any further adjustments will quickly find common ground for agreement without the need to raise taxes or unduly burden producers.
I do not expect the governor’s previous suggestion for the General Assembly to consider reinstituting formerly repealed taxes to gain any traction in the House of Delegates.
Similarly, as was debated at length last year, a majority of my colleagues and I in the House believe that the policy discussions surrounding the proposed expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare should occur apart from the regular budget process.
In this regard, we will continue to reflect the clear will of the people and resist attempts to prevent the responsible administration of appropriations as part of this controversy.
For my part, I am resolved to continue to make every vote in a fiscally responsible manner while promoting the shared values and best interest of our people.
I continue to serve this year on the Science and Technology and Courts of Justice Committees, which include time on the Judicial Panel and Criminal Law Subcommittee.
My service on the Judicial Panel actually carries forward from this past fall when several judicial candidates for appointment and reappointment throughout the Commonwealth were interviewed for anticipated selections in this upcoming session.
Additionally, I intend to continue meeting with other members of the Business Development Caucus as well as the joint House and Senate Rural and Conservative Caucuses.
With regard to particular legislation, I have introduced several bills for consideration which include measures to protect small, women-owned, minority-owned and service disabled veteran-owned businesses on state contract procurements; reduce the tax burden on small business owners; and provide more flexibility to local public school districts.
Thank you again for the honor to serve as your delegate. Should you have any concerns, or would like to coordinate a visit, please contact me at my office in Richmond by calling (804) 698-1016.
Del. Les Adams of Chatham represents the 16th District, which includes most of Pittsylvania County as well as Martinsville and part of Henry County.