Supporting Virginians’ right to work

Published 7:53 pm Saturday, January 22, 2011

By Delegate S. Chris Jones

As the first full week of session is now complete, we have started to make some progress in tackling over 1,300 house bills and resolutions that have been introduced in the House for this 46 day “short” Session.

While it sounds like a large number of bills, we have fewer bills introduced this year thanks to an important rules change put in place by House Republicans. During short sessions, a delegate can introduce a maximum of 15 bills. In years past, there were some delegates who would introduce upwards of 40 bills. I believe this practical rule change has made a positive impact on the way we conduct business in the House of Delegates.


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Most bills are still being debated in committees, but there are a few important measures that passed the House of Delegates. I would like to bring your attention to HJ500, which passed this week.

On Wednesday, the House voted to pass House Joint Resolution 500, an amendment that would add our right-to-work law to the Virginia Constitution.

For decades, Virginia has placed a premium on the freedom of workers to decide whether or not they want to join a union. Our laws ensure that employees can’t be forced to join a union as a condition of employment.

Virginia has the distinction of being the northernmost right-to-work state east of the Mississippi River, giving us a major competitive advantage when it comes to recruiting new companies from northeastern states to the Old Dominion. Additionally, our current right-to-work law is one reason Virginia consistently ranks as one of the best states for business.

Although our economy here in Virginia is stronger than most other states, it’s not nearly as strong as it should be. Adding our right-to-work law to the Virginia Constitution would give us another advantage to help attract new businesses and jobs to the Commonwealth.

It would also send a message to Virginia businesses that our right-to-work rules aren’t going to change on a dime and encourage them to grow and expand here in Virginia.

Keeping in contact

In an effort to keep informed and up to date on your comments and opinion, I invite you to participate in my online survey. Just visit and select the survey link.

As always, my staff and I are here in Richmond to serve you. We want to hear what you think about the legislation pending before the House, or if there’s anything we can do to help you in dealing with a state government agency.

My office can be reached at (804) 698-1076 or via the Internet at If you are planning to visit Richmond during session, I encourage you to visit me in Room 720.

Thank you again for allowing me to serve as your Delegate.

Delegate S. Chris Jones represents the 76th House District in the Virginia General Assembly. Email him at