Committee additions aid in state budget


RICHMOND House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell, R-Stafford, named six delegates as conferees in the commonwealth budget Conference Committee

The conferees task is to work with a similar committee from the Senate to model the proposed commonwealth budget.

The delegates were named to the Conference Committee earlier than was scheduled. However, Howell said he found it necessary to get a jump start on a budget that concerns the House Appropriations Committee.

By designating our team now — and announcing our decision weeks earlier than tradition dictate — the conferees for the House can begin preparing for the detailed and sometimes arduous task of reaching agreement with their Senate counterparts, Howell said.

Among the six named was Clarke N. Hogan, R-South Boston, who is serving his first term on the committee. The other delegates named were Lacey E. Putney, I-Bedford; Phillip A. Hamilton, R-Newport News; M. Kirkland Cox, R-Colonial Heights; Johnny S. Joannou, R-Portsmouth; and Beverly J. Sherwood, R-Winchester.

Howell said he hopes Sen. Charles J. Colgan, D-Manassas, also will name the Senate committee at an earlier date to get the ball rolling.

If he (Colgan) does so before the traditional point in the session, we will have taken a significant step forward in ensuring this years budget negotiations are marked by effective collaboration, careful deliberations and on-time completion, Howell said.