Tommy Wright: We did our job. They didn’t

Published 12:00 pm Friday, July 5, 2024

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The House of Delegates did its job on June 28, voting to repeal the changes to the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program. HB 6003 passed 92-0. Yet Senate Democrats insist that they will not even entertain the bill at their session.

On July 1, the Senate session took up legislation concerning VMSDEP again. But then again, that’s what they said the last time they met.

After the House’s vote on HB 6003, the Democrat Senate Majority Leader said point blank that the bill “will not be considered”; Instead, he and the President of the Senate, who is also a Democrat, continue to push for a partial repeal and sunset for the entire program.

Adding a sunset would give those opposed to the program leverage to cut its benefits back significantly during the next budget cycle. No one disputes the fact that the program needs reform, including residency requirements both before and after graduation.

But Senate Democrats seem overtly hostile to the program, arguing that it costs colleges and universities — who get billions from the Commonwealth — too much money in lost tuition. As multiple Senators noted last week, there was a bill pending that would have passed. It remains live, with 20 co-patrons.

The solution is simple: adopt bipartisan legislation that will repeal the changes passed in the budget, and then return in January and work through the legislative process to reform the program.

Democrats have a new reason to be up in arms, though, as a man testifying during a hearing called Sen. Lucas a “*****”;

A series of press releases and tweets followed immediately, with Lucas blaming Governor Youngkin for the comment. It’s clear Democrats know they’re on the losing side of this argument, but aren’t willing to take the loss without some way to save face.


I wish you a day filled with joy, freedom, and celebration as we honor the independence of our great nation. May your Fourth of July be filled with laughter, good company, and fond memories with family and friends. Enjoy the fireworks, festivities, and all the patriotic spirit that this day brings. Have a safe and wonderful Independence Day!

Del. Tommy Wright can be reached via email at or (804) 698-1061.