It’s a new day in Virginia

January 12, 2022


Happy New Year! I hope that you and your families had a safe and healthy holiday and that you are starting 2022 off on a positive note.

2021 certainly was full of highs and lows.  In November, Virginia sent a very loud and clear message that we need new leadership for our Commonwealth to get moving in the right direction once more. The House of Delegates is now back to a Republican majority.   Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, Lt. Governor-elect Sears and Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares will be sworn into their new posts this Saturday.  I am looking forward to working with them over the course of the next four years to bring about positive changes to critical issues like education, public safety, the business climate, and more.  One thing is for sure, they are ready to go to work for you on Day One.  It’s a very exciting and refreshing time for Virginia!

This year’s General Assembly Session began today and will continue for the next 60 days. During that time, the legislature will be working on a new state budget for the next two years along with about three thousand bills that will be filed and debated over the coming weeks.  Committee meetings and floor debates will get underway in full next week and the pace for the next two months will be fast moving.

You will remember that last year’s session was like no other.  Due to the pandemic, the Senate met in person but it was at the Science Museum of Virginia where we could spread out. The House of Delegates, however, had completely virtual meetings. Testimony from the general public in support of or in opposition to all bills in both chambers was done via Zoom. I did not support the lack of transparency this process afforded but am happy to report that this year, it will be back to business as usual – live and in person – at the Capitol.

The Senate will hold committee meetings in person at the Pocahontas Building and the daily floor sessions will be held in the Senate Chamber in the state Capitol.  The Pocahontas Building will be open to the public again (maximum capacity limits will be monitored by the Capitol Police).  Testimony from the general public on bills will be allowed in person, and a virtual option will be available for those not able or comfortable to come to Richmond.

I promise you that I will continue to stand up for our conservative ideals for you and your family.  While the Democrats still have a slim majority in the Senate, we have a Republican House and Republican Governor.  After two years of complete Democrat control, there is a lot that needs to be corrected.  We will work to roll back many of the liberal policies that have detrimental to our Commonwealth – burdensome business regulations, pro-labor union bills, so-called social justice reforms that actually make our most vulnerable communities less safe, and climate change policies that make Virginia look more like California than the Commonwealth that we know and love.  It is a new day in Virginia.  The core values on which my viewpoint on the world is built – small government, lower taxes, less regulation and the freedom to bear arms and worship – will continue to guide my voting and actions this session. 

I have a number of bills that I will be introducing this session that will deal with charter schools, small businesses, right to work, elections, elder abuse prevention and public safety.  I will be covering these more extensively in future updates along with other bills of interest the legislature takes up. To follow my legislative package, click here.

Even though this session still may look and feel a bit different, one thing that remains unchanged is my stellar legislative team.  We will again have two offices operating during General Assembly:

Richmond Office- Room 502E Pocahontas Building

Connor Smith

[email protected]


Harrisonburg District Office

Jenni Aulgur

[email protected]


If you have scheduling requests, constituent concerns or would like to let me know what you think about a piece of legislation please reach out to my office at the contact information above or email me at [email protected]  As always, I appreciate hearing from my constituents on issues that are important to you.

I am grateful for the privilege of serving the Shenandoah Valley in the Virginia Senate!


Mark Obenshain