|Kory (center) speaks with constituents.|
At a fundraiser in the Seven Corners area Jan. 6, Kory outlined some of the bills she has already filed: These include bills to require school boards to consider certain factors before expelling a student, allow school boards to start school before Labor Day, let high school graduates approved for “deferred action” status pay the in-state tuition rate at community colleges, clarify the charter school application process, repeal the ultrasound requirement passed last year for women seeking abortions, allow school employees to administer epi-pens to students suffering severe allergic reactions, and change the way small business tax liability is calculated.
Kory is also working on drafting bills that would prohibit guns on school property, provide interpreters for voters, make voting absentee in person easier, prohibit school from starting before 8 a.m., strengthen the requirements for electronic textbooks, and create a registry for companion animals. Kory is a co-patron on bills to stiffen the training requirements for gun owners and ban texting while driving.
If a delegate drafts a bill the that governor likes, the governor has the authority to claim it as his own bill, Kory says. That’s what happened with a measure she wanted to introduce that calls for community colleges to share data with high schools on students who need remedial courses.
During the second year of the session, each delegate is allowed to introduce only 15 bills, so that means lawmakers have to consider carefully which measures to put forward. As a Democrat in a legislature with a large Republican majority, Kory is focusing on introducing bills likely to have bipartisan support. She predicted there will be a large number of bills proposed this session promoting the Tea Party view on social issues, as the entire House is up for re-election and Republicans will be trying to appeal to the most conservative elements in their party.
Transportation funding will be the big issue for the state this year, and Kory calls Gov. Bob McDonnell’s proposals—to transfer $500 million from education and other areas and index the gas tax—inadequate solutions for Northern Virginia’s critical transportation needs.