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Virginia House Delegates talk saving you money on energy bills, upcoming election

RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) — The House of Delegates reconvened on Wednesday to vote on the Governor’s amended bills and vetoes.

Governor Youngkin amended 78 bills and vetoed three.

A major topic this past session for lawmakers was high energy costs.

The Governor offered amendments to some bills on electric energy regulation.

Lawmakers said this is in an effort to further increase competition and protect ratepayers.

Republican Delegate Wendell Walker (R-23rd District) said the goal is to save you money on your energy bills.

“We’re wanting to make it more competitive out here. So, the end result is that the ratepayers are going to be paying less money,” Walker said.

Democrat Delegate Sam Rasoul (D-11th District) said there was bipartisan progress on these bills this past session and he hoped today there would be a bipartisan consensus.

“We've got some good work that we’ve been doing on a bipartisan basis around electric regulation. We believe that people's electric bills are far too high,” Rasoul said.

ABC 13 also spoke with lawmakers about progress on the budget.

While there is already a two-year budget in place, lawmakers have been negotiating some changes to the budget.

ABC 13 asked Rasoul and Walker what they think it's going to take to be able to get to an endpoint with the budget.

“Hopefully, we’ll able to put our heads together and find some bipartisan consensus around what needs to happen,” Rasoul said.

“The conferees, from what we’re hearing right now, is they’re starting back with their meeting, and there again the Secretary of Finance is working with the conferees,” Walker said

Rasoul said he would like to see the surplus be used for teacher pay and mental health services. Walker said he wants to return money to the taxpayers.

While the focus of Wednesday’s session was the Governor’s vetoes and amendments, some lawmakers are also saying farewell to Richmond as they prepare to step into retirement.

Nearly 30 lawmakers have said they don’t intend to run again this fall, according to the Virginia Mercury.

All 140 General assembly seats are up for election in November. Walker and Rasoul weighed in on the changes we’ll see next session.

“You’re going to have about 30 to 40% of new individuals down here so you’re going to have legislators that have never been through this process,” Walker said.

“We'll have a different culture, lots of new faces, very different dynamics and so hopefully, we'll see some progress there on a bipartisan basis,” Rasoul said.

Those retiring include two local lawmakers, Delegate Kathy Byron (R-22nd District) and Senator Steve Newman (R-23rd District).

(Source: ABC 13 NEWS)


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