Mollie Laird


The 2018 General Assembly session came on the heels of what many deemed a shocking 2017 election cycle. Democrats gained a surprising number of seats in the General Assembly, creating the need for bipartisan compromise throughout the 2018 session. It is when compromise occurred that deals were made and laws were passed to benefit Virginians. This does not mean that tensions did not flare at times. Ideological differences were certainly on display in debates surrounding Confederate monuments and gun control. But beyond ideological differences, the General Assembly was able to raise the felony-larceny threshold and to end a rate freeze on electric prices throughout the state. Additionally, education reform bills were highly successful because of the bipartisan support they garnered. What has been seen as one of the most significant achievements of the 2018 session, though, was the expansion of Medicaid in Virginia. That could not have been achieved without support from both sides of the aisle. While vetoes were abundant and partisan efforts were certainly a feature of the session, working together for the betterment of Virginia was a driving factor for many legislators as was clear from the progress they made this session.