DeSteph: Public will have access to lawmakers in Richmond during upcoming session

Virginia Politics

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Earlier in December, Virginia Sen. Bill DeSteph filed a court petition for an injunction to have the Pocahontas building — where the legislators’ offices are — open to constituents.

The petition was filed against Senate Rules Chair Sen. Mamie Locke, House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, among others because currently, the building is only open for legislators and credentialed employees.

According to a statement released by DeSteph’s office Friday, the public will now have access to lawmakers in Richmond during the upcoming regular session.

“The decision to close the Pocahontas Building was a clear violation of the First Amendment and
communicated an eagerness by Senator Locke, Speaker Filler-Corn, and the Northam Administration
to shut out public input in the legislative process,” DeSteph said.

According to DeSteph, the Federal District Court agreed that blocking access violates the first amendment.

“Virginians will now have both the opportunity and the ability to choose to meet with their legislators, if they elect to do so,” he continued.

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