Many bills have been addressed in this Week # 4 of General Assembly session and hours have been spent on doing the people's work. I would like to highlight a few of the more important bills that I've been contacted about.
- My bill establishing the Henrietta Lacks Commission was reported out of committee this week.
Matt Leonard, Executive Director of the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority, came to Richmond to testify for the bill. See this link for a fuller explanation of what the bill does:
https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=181&typ=bil&val=hb1415&submit=GO. The bill has been sent to Appropriations for further study. I am hopeful that this is the first step in getting this extremely important economic development project funded.
- Also, my bill to add the bear tag back to the deer and turkey combination tag, essentially saving the hunter wishing to pursue deer and bear $19.00 per license, passed out of sub-committee and heads to full committee for a vote.
- I voted for legislation mandating all members and staff of the General Assembly to participate in sexual harassment training. Elected Delegates and Senators as well as all staff members of both bodies will be required to take the training courses upon hiring and every two years thereafter.
- I also voted for legislation that will reform the State Board of Elections by guaranteeing the nonpartisan administration of elections in the Commonwealth. House Bill 1405 increases from three to six the number of members on the Board, requiring three to be from the party that won the most recent gubernatorial election and three from the party receiving the next highest number of votes. The bill would also allow the State Board of Elections to appoint the Commissioner that oversees the Department of Elections, previously a political appointee of the governor.
The Sportsman's Caucus met again this week and heard a presentation by Lee Walker, the Outreach Director for the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. He reported on, the
Department's online Go Outdoors Virginia licensing resource. Since July 2016 when the website was launched, over 800,000 outdoorsmen have created online accounts to manage their licenses. This site is a one-stop shop for DGIF customers to purchase hunting and fishing licenses, register and renew vessels, check game and many other features. Check it out at dgif.virginia.gov.
Rural Caucus this week heard reports from Erik Johnston, the new Director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development who replaced long-time director Bill Shelton. John O. "Dubby" Wynn, Chairman of GO Virginia also gave an update on the progress of the program.
This week I was visited by Margaret Stanley Arbogast and Lee Pambid, both natives of Halifax County but currently living in other parts of the state. Virginia Municipal League day also occurred this week and Ed Owens, Mayor of South Boston came by.
Quote of the Day:
Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. Winston Churchill
As long as I am I public office, I will represent you with integrity and humility!