Thursday, February 12, 2009

Del. Saxman ... notes from Richmond

By Del. Chris Saxman
R-20th House District

Prior to the session, I wrote to tell you about a bill I planned to introduce during this year's legislative session, HJ640, a constitutional amendment protecting Virginia's status as a "right-to-work" state.

I am very pleased to announce that on Tuesday, the House of Delegates approved this amendment, 56-43.

Increasing attacks on Virginia's right-to-work status in recent years influenced my decision to introduce this amendment this year, including two measures introduced in last year's legislative session that would have altered our current policies on right-to-work. The decision by the House Democratic Caucus to take a Caucus position in opposition of HJ640 this year underscores the need for this amendment.

I do not take amending our Constitution lightly, however the right-to-work is so fundamentally important to Virginia's economy, that we must ensure that it is protected for the long-term against the political whims of governments elected to 2 or 4 year terms.

Virginia has been recognized as one of the most business-friendly states in the nation, in no small part due to our right-to-work protections. The pro-business policies in place have created thousands of new jobs for Virginians- jobs with good benefits and salaries- as businesses have relocated and grown in the Commonwealth.

But as we have seen, both here in Virginia and on the national level, some interests will actively work to undermine right-to-work laws. By placing our right-to-work laws within the Constitution, we send a strong message that Virginia will remain open for business, and we will continue to create new, good paying jobs for Virginia families.

Both Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and Attorney General Bob McDonnell have worked in support to this measure, and I appreciate them standing up on this important issue.

I look forward to continuing to work with them and my other colleagues as we make the case for HJ640 in the Senate.

As always, please let me know your thoughts on this and other issues before the General Assembly this legislative session.

Cross-posted at

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