Home Virginia Politics Virginia’s New House Democratic Caucus Chair Rip Sullivan’s Past Bills Were Mostly...

Virginia’s New House Democratic Caucus Chair Rip Sullivan’s Past Bills Were Mostly Killed by Republicans; A Lot of Them Should Have a Good Chance of Passing in 2020

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Yesterday, Virginia House Democrats voted to make Del. Rip Sullivan (D-Fairfax/Arlington) their Caucus Chair. What might that mean for legislation in the 2020 Virginia House of Delegates session?

First off, some background: from what I can gather, it’s not clear how powerful the Caucus Chair is – or even what it does exactly. In the U.S. House, the Caucus Chair “presides over caucus meetings, which are composed of all members of the Democratic party.” The Caucus “meets on a weekly basis to discuss party policy,  pending legislative issues, and other matters of mutual concern.” But it’s not clear to me what it does, exactly, in the Virginia House of Delegates. My guess is, to a large extent, it’s how Virginia House leadership overall decides to divvy up power and to organize itself.

Still, Del. Sullivan is a smart, effective, and fairly progressive (see the 2019 VAPLAN scorecard here) and environmentalist legislator who knows what he’s doing. So despite all the caveats listed above, I still think it’s interesting to look at Del. Sullivan’s past “chief patron” bills to see where his priorities might lie, especially now that he’s been elected Majority Caucus Chair. See below for the bills – and note that there’s a TON of great stuff in here, on voting, energy efficiency, solar power, gun violence prevention, etc. – followed by a comment by me after each one. Let’s make sure that this stuff passes in 2020!

Del. Rip Sullivan’s “chief patron” bills from 2019

Del. Rip Sullivan’s “chief patron” bills from 2018

Del. Rip Sullivan’s “chief patron” bills from 2017

Del. Rip Sullivan’s “chief patron” bills from 2016

Del. Rip Sullivan’s “chief patron” bills from 2015