General Assembly back in session, leaders discuss priorities

Leaders plan to focus on mental health, education, and economics this year

RICHMOND, Va. – Lawmakers returned to Richmond on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, for a new General Assembly session.

10 News was working for you live at the Capital to learn more about what lawmakers are prioritizing in 2023.

It was a first for the newly-elected Ellen Campbell who won the special election for her late husband Ronnie Campbell’s seat, covering Rockbridge County.

“Being a delegate for the 24th was one of the greatest honors of Ronnie’s life,” Campbell said. “To have the opportunity to continue that for him ... It’s feeling almost indescribable.”

Lawmakers from Southwest and Central Virginia are ready to tackle issues on the table, including inflation. Some are pushing tax cuts.

“Return the surplus to the taxpayers who we took it from,” Sen. Mark Peake said.

“Make sure that any tax relief goes to those who need it the most: the working and middle-class Virginians. We don’t want it going to the wealthy,” Del. Sam Rasoul said.

Another priority: education.

“We need to make sure we strongly support public education,” Sen. David Suetterlein said.

One issue the divided Congress can agree on is mental health, especially after recent deadly shootings at UVA and a Walmart in Virginia.

“We need to fix mental health. It is a disaster in Virginia and we’ve got to fix it,” Sen. Steve Newman said.

“Mental health has been chronically underfunded for such a long period of time ... Keeping people out of crisis,” Sen. Creigh Deeds added.

On day one, their work had just begun.

“I’m real excited to get to work. Let’s do it,” Del. Joseph McNamara said.

About the Authors:

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.

You can watch Lindsey during Virginia Today every weekend or as a reporter during the week!