Del. Lashrecse Aird of Petersburg first made history and know she is making progress by gaining a seat at the “money table.”
Aird, a 30-year-old Democrat, was recently appointed to the powerful House Appropriations Committee, which is a key panel that helps decide state spending and the state budget.
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.
Considering that Aird represents the 63rd House District that includes the financially struggling city Petersburg, the appointment could pay dividends to the region down the road.
Air acknowledged the weight of her appointment in the Appropriations Committee, especially in light of Petersburg’s financial troubles.
“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.”
But Aird’s appointment goes beyond Petersburg’s immediate financial woes. Aird said 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.’”
Aird’s district comprises the counties of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie and Prince George, as well as the cities of Petersburg and Hopewell. So the entire region could benefit from her increasingly powerful role in the General Assembly.
The Appropriations Committee consists of 15 Republicans and seven Democrats. So she is just one of seven Democrats in the entire House of Delegates on that powerful committee. That is an amazing testament to Air’s political rise.
And Aird appears to have won over the respect of both Democrats and Republicans. House Speaker William Howell appointed Aird to the committee and 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-Cties.”
And the support of Cox will be crucial since Howell announced his retirement and it appears likely that the Colonial Heights delegate will be the next House speaker.
Aird made history in the last legislative session when at 29 she became the youngest woman elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.
Now Aird, in her second session, is clearly a rising star in the House of Delegates that will help our region in future years.