House of Delegates will advance aid for Virginia Beach, victims over objections of Democrats

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Republican leaders in the Virginia House of Delegates said Wednesday they will begin work on a package of legislation designed to aid the City of Virginia Beach and the victims of the May 31 murders at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center. Four pieces of legislation introduced by Delegate Barry Knight (R-Virginia Beach) were referred to the House Committee on Appropriations for immediate action.

“I referred this legislation to the Appropriations Committee so we could immediately begin work on providing Virginia Beach the help it needs,” said Speaker Cox. “We are committed to helping Virginia Beach.”

House Bills 4013, 4022, 4023 and House Resolution 4012 were referred to the Appropriations Committee on which Delegate Knight and Delegate Chris Stolle (R-Virginia Beach) both serve. The Appropriations Committee is scheduled to meet in August, September and October.

“The Committee on Appropriations is committed to advancing aid for the City of Virginia Beach and the victims of this senseless tragedy,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk). “The leaders of the Beach and its citizens need the funding support of our Commonwealth and I am confident that we will find a path forward to help this community.”

“The Beach is hurting, and I will do everything in my power to see that the victims, their families, and the city get the help they need,” said Delegate Knight. “From day one, Speaker Cox and Chairman Jones have been working with me and the rest of the Beach delegation on these important bills. I look forward to working with Delegate Stolle, Chairman Jones, and the Speaker to get this done.”

“There’s been a lot of political rhetoric about what should be done following the tragedy that struck our community, but I think it’s time to set the politics aside and focus on what we can actually do right now to help this community,” said Delegate Stolle. “I appreciate the opportunity to work with my colleagues to advance this legislation.”

“The City of Virginia Beach has rallied together in the days and weeks since May 31, and the Virginia Beach delegation is committed to helping,” said Delegate Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach). “Now is the time to focus on what will have an immediate impact, and this is a priority for the House of Delegates.”

Delegate Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach) said, “Our City has faced an unimaginable tragedy and is working to put the pieces back together. The Virginia Beach community has stepped up to help them and I’m confident the Commonwealth of Virginia will as well. I thank the Appropriations Committee for prioritizing this aid.”

Speaker Cox added, “Unfortunately, Democrats in the House voted yesterday to block consideration of any aid for Virginia Beach or the victims, choosing instead to singularly focus on gun control legislation that would not have stopped this tragedy.”

Forty four Democrats, including Virginia Beach Delegates Kelly Convirs-Fowler and Cheryl Turpin, voted on the floor Tuesday to block consideration of any legislation designed to aid Virginia Beach or the victims of the murders. Convirs-Fowler and Turpin voted to limit what legislation could be considered under House Joint Resolution 4003, the legislation establishing the parameters of the Special Session. Their vote would have precluded the House from considering the legislation introduced by Delegate Knight, as well as legislation related to mental and behavioral health.