Tag Archives: Virginia State Senate

Emmett Hanger elected co-chair of Senate Finance Committee

Emmett Hanger 2By Lynn R. Mitchell

Augusta County’s State Senator Emmett Hanger (R-Augusta) will be co-chairman of the powerful state senate finance committee when Virginia’s General Assembly convenes in January, sharing duties with Senator Tommy Norment (see Virginia Senate Republicans end power struggle with compromise):

Members agreed to make Norment co-chairman of that committee with Sen. Emmett W. Hanger Jr. (R-Augusta), although they will not formally vote on committee assignments until the General Assembly convenes in January.

Read more in the Roanoke times (see Thomas Norment to remain senate majority leader, share key chairmanship with Emmett Hanger).

Congratulations to Senator Hanger.

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RTD: Emmett Hanger would make excellent finance committee chair

Emmett Hanger 2By Lynn R. Mitchell

I wrote on Monday about State Senator Emmett Hanger moving into the chairman’s seat on the powerful finance committee after the retirement of Walter Stosch (see Emmett Hanger could be in line to chair state senate finance committee).

Today the Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote an editorial suggesting the same (see GOP can move forward with finance pick):

Augusta’s Emmett Hanger stands second in seniority to Norment. A loyal Republican, he is not a fire-eater — and would make an excellent chair.

This year potentially divisive differences existed between the money committees in the two houses. Comity prevailed. A budget crisis was avoided. The adults overcame. Hanger is qualified by disposition and philosophy to guide with a steady hand and to provide stability. He deserves the job.

Winning the June 2015 Republican primary against two tea party opponents and garnering 60 percent of the vote was the first step for Senator Hanger toward chairmanship. It would be a good fit due to his experience serving as a member of the committee and chairing the Health and Human Resources subcommittee. We’ll be watching what comes out of the finance caucus later this month.

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Emmett Hanger could be in line to chair State Senate Finance Committee

Emmett Hanger 2By Lynn R. Mitchell

Winning the June 2015 Republican primary against two tea party opponents and garnering 60 percent of the vote was the first step for Augusta County Senator Emmett Hanger toward chairmanship of the powerful Finance Committee (see Election results set up Republican decisions on budget committee).

In line for chair along with Senator Tommy Norment and several other senators, there are compelling reasons why Hanger could eventually be chosen to head up the committee:

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Keeping watch

Bill Bolling 8 w Sen Donald McEachinPhoto by Steve Helber/AP.

Former Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling shared this Washington Post link and noted, “I love this picture from the Washington Post. It was taken on the floor of the Senate. John Hager and I are keeping a close eye on Senator Donald McEachin.”

It is a good picture of the two Republican lieutenant governors overlooking the proceedings.

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Bill Janis to run for retiring Walter Stosch’s state senate seat

Bill Janis

Former Del. Bill Janis

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Former Delegate Bill Janis (R-Glen Allen) has announced that he will seek the 12th District Senate Seat that will be vacated by the retiring Walter Stosch, according to a tweet from Jim Nolan with the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Janis, 52, represented the 56th House District from 2002-2012 that included Goochland, Louisa, and party of Henrico and overlapped parts of Stosch’s senate district.

He is a graduate of Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and the University of Virginia Law School. Janis was a member of the U.S. Navy from 1984-1995 as a Lieutenant Commander and served during the Persian Gulf War. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and the Navy Commendation Medal.

Bill Janis and his wife Rose have two children.

Update: Here is the announcement from Bill Janis:

For the past six years we have witnessed President Barack Obama attempt to fundamentally transform America. Through litigation, regulations, legislation and Executive Orders, he has systematically attacked and undermined the constitutional principles and institutions which have traditionally united us and made America great:

The principle that the Federal Government must preserve individual liberty by observing Constitutional limitations;

The belief that all individuals are entitled to equal rights, justice, and opportunities and should assume their responsibilities as citizens in a free society;

The commitment to fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints at all levels of government;

The belief that peace is best preserved through a strong national defense;

Our American free enterprise system, the most productive supplier of human needs and economic justice the world has ever known;

And the common consensus that faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers, is essential to the moral fiber of the Nation.

Over the past year, we have seen Governor Terry McAuliffe attempt to fundamentally transform Virginia in the same way, and remake the Commonwealth in his own progressive image and likeness. He has made the priority of his first year in office an aggressive effort to expand Obamacare in Virginia through Medicaid. He has called for expansive new gun control laws that will limit the rights of law-abiding Virginians to keep and bear arms. He has systematically pushed for higher taxes to fuel increased government spending without regard to the sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars which has traditionally been the hallmark of Virginia’s public finances.

In fact, during last year’s General Assembly session, the Governor nearly succeeded in forcingObamacare expansion in Virginia.  Only the hard work of the Republican majority in the House and the retirement of a single Democrat Senator, allowed the Republicans to regain the majority control of the Senate, defeat Obamacare expansion, and pass a balanced two-year budget.

As the General Assembly convenes today in Richmond, Governor McAuliffe stands ready to renew his push to fundamentally transform our state.  He will renew his push to expand Obamacare in Virginia through Medicaid.  He will put the power of his office behind new efforts to further limit our Second Amendment rights. He will promote the inexorable growth of government spending, which fuels the annual push for higher taxes and fees.

This sessionthe citizens of Virginia are safe from his efforts because the Senate Republicans still hold the majority necessary to say “no” to this fundamental transformation of our Commonwealth. 

This November however, every member of the Virginia Senate will stand for election by the people. With the retirement of Senator Walter Stosch, the voters of the 12th Senate District will have the solemn duty to elect a new Senator to represent them for the next four years.

The next Senator from the 12th District must be ready to stand with the Senate Republicans as they oppose the fundamental transformation of our beloved state. The next Senator from the 12th District must be ready to say “no” to Obamacare expansion in Virginia, “no” to further encroachments on our fundamental rights, “no” to the inexorable growth of government.

The next Senator must be ready, willing and able to fight on behalf of the people of Hanover and Henrico for “a wise and frugal government” which will preserve our liberty, defend our rights, and “will not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.

Because we need a Senator who will say yes to economic growth, better jobs, and higher take home pay for Virginians; and

Because we need a Senator who will say yes to less government spending and yes to less government regulation and red tapeand

Because we need Senator who will put the people first and will stand firm against the special interests and reckless government expansion 

For all of these reasons, I am announcing today that I am a candidate for the Republican nomination to be the next Senator from the 12th Senate District of Virginia.

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‘Sen. John Watkins leaves legacy: policy over politics’

John Watkins

Sen. John Watkins

By Lynn R. Mitchell

State Senator John Watkins’ announcement to not seek re-election in 2015 caught many by surprise. After all, this  long-time legislator had represented Powhatan, Chesterfield, and Colonial Heights citizens in the Virginia legislature since 1981, first as a delegate and later as state senator.

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Reeves is new Majority Whip for Virginia State Senate

By Lynn R. Mitchell

It was announced by Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City) during the annual Senate Finance Committee in Staunton this past weekend that Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) was named Senate Majority Whip for the Senate of Virginia.

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Warner-Puckett fallout: ‘Brainstorming? Is that what they’re calling it these days?’

Mark Warner w ObamaBy Lynn R. Mitchell

During Monday night’s Virginia U.S. Senate debate between Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Warner and Republican Ed Gillespie that took place in Richmond, Warner flitted around the issue of Puckettgate, the black cloud that is now hanging over Richmond concerning Democratic State Senator Phil Puckett’s resignation earlier this year. Puckett’s leaving handed control of the senate to Republicans and blocked Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe’s hopes to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (see Warner, Gillespie spar over Puckett scandal, energy, Ebola).

The reasons for what played out are varied (see Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial Warner should come clean):

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Breaking news: Phil Puckett resigns from state senate — UPDATED with Gov. McAuliffe statement

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Reporter Jim Nolan with the Richmond Times-Dispatch is reporting that Democratic State Senator Phil Puckett, 66, has resigned throwing Democrats into the minority and noted:

Puckett’s stunning resignation throws Democratic budget strategy into chaos by opening the way for Republicans to seize control of the chamber and reorganize its committees with GOP majorities.

Family reasons have been cited as the reason for the sudden resignation but there’s more in Nolan’s article. Stay tuned as this story develops….

UPDATED Sunday at 10 pm: Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) issued a statement Sunday evening about Senator Puckett’s resignation:

“I am deeply disappointed by this news and the uncertainty it creates at a time when 400,000 Virginians are waiting for access to quality health care, especially in Southwest Virginia. This situation is unacceptable, but the bipartisan majority in the Senate and I will continue to work hard to put Virginians first and find compromise on a budget that closes the coverage gap.”

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Virginia: Emmett Hanger proposes compromise on Medicaid expansion

Emmett Hanger 1By Lynn R. Mitchell

On Thursday State Senator Emmett Hanger, concerned about the looming state budget deadline, proposed a compromise in the Medicaid expansion standoff currently taking place between the state Senate, House, and Governor Terry McAuliffe.

“It is my strong belief it would be totally unacceptable,” Hanger said in Thursday’s press release, “for the legislature to abdicate it’s responsibility to produce a balanced budget in a timely manner.”

House leaders expressed encouragement that a state budget may be reached by the deadline.

Hanger, chairman of the Medicaid Innovation & Reform Commission (MIRC) and chairman of the Senate Finance-Health & Human Resources Subcommittee, prefaced his proposals with a few comments:

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