RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) – Del. Lashrecse Aird of Petersburg made headlines last legislative session as the youngest woman elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. This session, Aird is making news again for her appointment to the powerful House Appropriations Committee.
Aird, a 30-year-old Democrat, says she strives to “make sure that my district understands how great of an opportunity it’s going to be to have more representation at the ‘money table.’”
As a representative of the 63rd House District, which includes the financially troubled city of Petersburg, she acknowledges the weight of her appointment in the Appropriations Committee.
“My biggest priority is to dig deeper into understanding how they [Petersburg] were able to get in this level of fiscal stress, and what we as a commonwealth need to do to put protections into place and to allow them to have the tools and resources to prevent this type of challenge from occurring into the future.”
The House Appropriations Committee oversees the state budget. Under Virginia’s biennial budget system, the General Assembly is tasked with creating a budget in even-numbered years and amending it in odd years. The Appropriations Committee sorts funding priorities, introduces budgetary changes and considers budget amendment requests from House members.
House Speaker William Howell appointed Aird to the Appropriations Committee last week. The appointment was applauded by both Democrats and Republicans.
“I was very pleased to hear Del. Aird has been assigned to the House Appropriations Committee,” said House Majority Leader Kirk Cox of Colonial Heights. “Her thoughtful demeanor and strong work ethic will add great input to this vitally important committee. I look forward to working with her on the Appropriations Committee and advocating for the Tri-cities.”
Aird (whose first name is pronounced “la-sha-reesh”) was 29 when she won her bid for an open House seat in November 2015. During last year’s legislative session, she served on the House Finance Committee, an experience she says has helped familiarize her with budget processes.
“I just hope that my knowledge, skills and abilities have shone through in my first year that has allowed me the ability to get the appointment. I’m grateful, and I’m going to work so hard because it is a unique opportunity, and I think my district absolutely deserves that,” Aird said.
The Appropriations Committee consists of 15 Republicans and seven Democrats and is chaired by Del. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk.
In addition to her appointment to the Appropriations Committee, Aird identified education and workforce development as her top priorities for the 2017 session.
Aird serves House District 63, which comprises the counties of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie and Prince George, as well as the cities of Petersburg and Hopewell.