Friday, January 23, 2015

2015 General Assembly session update: Week 2

The Pogge Post

2015 General Assembly 

96th District, Virginia House of Delegates     January 23, 2015
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During Session:

General Assembly Building

Room 403

Capitol Square

Richmond, VA 23219



Please send mail to:

P.O. Box 196

Norge, VA 23127
Legislative Aide
Amanda Johnston

Beginning with a rush of visitors on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, week two of this year's session was punctuated by numerous committee meetings and ever-lengthening floor sessions. Many bills moved through subcommittee and full committee before reaching the House floor for a full vote. Highlighted below are updates on several key issues and information about my legislation.

Making college more affordable
Tuesday's State of the Union address included President Obama's plan to target 529 college savings accounts for taxation. While the President pursues policies to make it more difficult for families to save for college, Virginia Republicans are working to lessen the burden of college expenses. Many of you have contacted me to express concern about the rising cost of higher education, and I am pleased to share information about Republican initiatives to reduce these expenses.

Earlier today, the House of Delegates passed legislation capping expensive college athletic fees and making it easier for small schools to cut wasteful spending. House Bills 1895 and 1897 will now be heard in the Senate. 

During the upcoming weeks, the House Higher Education Subcommittee will also hear Delegate Nick Rush's legislation providing for "flat-fee" college degrees. Details about House Bill 1692 are available on the Legislative Information System.

Did you know that Virginia is home to over 780,000 veterans? In James City and York Counties, there are 18,971 veterans. Virginia has a critical need for additional veterans care centers. As my colleague Del. Chris Stolle noted, "Maine has a bed in a veterans care center for every 200 veterans in the state. Virginia has a bed for every 2,000 veterans." 

I believe that we have a responsibility to care for the veterans who have served and sacrificed on behalf of our country. For this reason, I am pleased to report that legislation funding new care centers in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads advanced from committee. The large veteran population in our region will benefit from these additional services. Likewise, existing centers in Richmond and Salem will be better able to meet the needs of veterans in those regions.
Make your voice heard!
There is still time to complete my 10-question online survey!  Delegate Pogge's 2015 Session Survey.

Interested in direct involvement in state government? Apply to serve on one of Virginia's state boards or commissions. To view lists of the board and commission seats that will expire in 2015 as well as the remaining vacancies from recently expired terms, visit
Defending the Virginia Constitution
Recently, my legislation requiring Virginia's Attorney General to defend the state's Constitution has garnered media interest. The 2014 General Assembly session was marked by conflict stemming from Attorney General Herring's failure to defend the Constitution. Regardless of one's perspective of Virginia's marriage amendment, the Attorney General took an oath to defend the Commonwealth's Constitution. Attorney General Herring's failure to do so set a dangerous precedent, paving the way for future Attorneys General to selectively decide which portions of Virginia law merit defense.

House Bill 1573 codifies that the Attorney General or his designee must defend the Commonwealth. Links to media coverage are provided below:

Around the District
Although the General Assembly is currently in Richmond, there are opportunities for political engagement at home. 

Local Republican Committees

James City County Republican Committee

York County Republican Committee


The Duty of the Jury, hosted by The Constitution Leadership Initiative

When: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 31, 2015 

Where: 1609 George Washington Memorial Highway, Tabb, VA 23693

Details and RSVP information: click HERE 

General Assembly Visitors
Monday's holiday brought many visitors to Richmond, and the crowds continued throughout the week. Many of the visitors to my office are listed below. 

Donna Altzier
Hugh Burns
Meghan Burns
Jacqui Carrington
David Coe
Charles Crone
Andrea Dorcy
Tom Gee
Steve Groce
Melissa Heath
Deborah Jackson
Thom Prevette
Linda Rice
Joyce Smith

If you are in Richmond, please stop by my office to say hello. To reach me by phone or email, please call 804-698-1096 or email

Enjoy your weekend!
Delegate Brenda Pogge

Paid for and Authorized by Brenda Pogge for Delegate
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Brenda Pogge for Delegate | P.O. Box 196 | Norge | VA | 23127

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