Members of the Virginia General Assembly are back in Richmond this week, gaveling in an historic session.
Madam Speaker. That’s a phrase now in common currency here in the House of Delegates, which has not had a woman speaker in its 400 year history. Not until now, anyways. Eileen Filler-Corn is now speaker of the House of Delegates. She opened the session by calling for lawmakers to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, address climate change…
“And I reject the notion that a state that’s good for business must be bad for workers,” Filler-Corn said, followed by applause from the chamber.
Filler-Corn isn’t just the first woman speaker. She’s also the first Jewish speaker.
Delegate Marcus Simon of Fairfax County wonders if that might mean a change in how the House opens its session each day.
“I’m curious as to how our prayers are going to go. There have been a number of times when we’ve had some fairly aggressively pro-Jesus kind of prayers take place here in the hall, which have caused me to walk back to the break room," he said. "So we’ll see if there’s a little more deference as far as that goes in being more ecumenical.”
The first session began with a prayer by Filler-Corn’s rabbi: Bruce Aft of Congregation Adat Reyim in Springfield.