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RPS Legislative Advocacy Update - January 9, 2020 - Day 2/60


Yesterday was the first day of the 2020 Session of the Virginia General Assembly and the major news of the day was the installation of the first female Speaker of the House, the first female Clerk of the House, and the first female and first African American Majority Leader of the House. Check out this story from the Richmond Times-Dispatch with photos of the proceedings.

Governor Ralph Northam also presented his annual State of the Commonwealth address and highlighted his many legislative priorities. Here is a recap from the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the full text of his speech (including link to view video).

RPS students showed us what advocacy looked like when they held a press conference to share some of the advocacy priorities that RPS will be trying to advance during the session this year. Check out the story on CBS 6 and watch the video of the press conference on our Facebook page!

Today, the first committees will start to meet in the Senate and the House will be debating new rules for the Chamber.

Legislation 

The first legislation of the session will be considered this morning in the Senate Education and Health Committee. Senator Bill Stanley (R-Franklin) has introduced several bills related to school construction, a priority area for RPS. SB 4 would create the Public School Assistance Fund and Program for the purpose of providing grants to assist school divisions with replacing school roofs. SB 5 would create minimum building standards for the construction of modern public school buildings and the modernization of existing public school buildings for the purpose of promoting positive educational outcomes for each public elementary and secondary school student. RPS will be introducing its own bill related to forming a School Construction Commission so stay tuned for further updates on this topic!

The public can use the Legislative Information System (LIS) to research and view all the legislation and committee meetings during session.

Budget

The budget process has just begun and the next step is for all members of the General Assembly to introduce budget amendments to make changes to the Governor’s proposed budget. You can visit the LIS Budget site to view the proposed budget and all budget amendments once introduced.

What can you do today? 

Visit the RPS Advocacy website to learn more about our advocacy efforts and how to get involved! You can download our 2020 Legislative Agenda and our Advocacy Toolkit to get informed and empowered so you can be an advocate for RPS.

On Saturday, January 11, RPS is hosting an Advocacy Summit at Studio Two Three to learn more about RPS advocacy priorities and screenprint t-shirts and posters with RPS advocacy graphics. Find our more details and register to attend at www.rvaschools.net/summit

In the next few weeks, RPS is hosting more advocacy trainings to learn more about how to be an advocate for RPS and public education in Virginia. View more details and sign up today via our Facebook page or email Matthew Stanley if you don’t have Facebook. Upcoming scheduled trainings:

  • Tuesday, January 14 - 6-8pm - Studio Two Three
  • Thursday, January 16 - 6-7:30pm - Peter Paul Development Center
  • Wednesday, January 22 - 6-7:30pm - Blackwell Elementary School