"Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither."- Benjamin Franklin

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Recent blog posts

Florida Shooting - Press Release

Posted in News

February 16, 2018
Richmond, Virginia

I am appalled by the act of evil we saw in Florida this week and heartbroken for the victims, their families, and all of those affected. The House of Delegates adjourned Thursday in the Honor and Memory of the victims and their families.

It is a sad day when parents are more concerned about the safety of their children at school than them leaning. The Florida shooter showed every sign of someone capable of committing such a heinous act. We must make sure that those who act suspicious and those who display signs of violence are monitored closely and not allowed to slip through politically correct cracks.

I still believe that we have a “society problem” and not a gun problem and would like to point out some steps the House of Delegates has taken to address gun violence since I was elected in 2009.

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60th District Digest February 16, 2018

Posted in Newsletters

SESSION:
- Valentine's Day invaded the Pocahontas Building this week and almost every office had some sort of decoration. A little bit of levity in an otherwise mostly serious environment!

This week, we celebrated "Crossover," the official halfway point of the 2018 General Assembly session. After Tuesday, the House will consider Senate bills and the Senate will consider House bills. There are fewer than 30 days left before we are scheduled to adjourn. With less than 30 days left, I'm proud that we have worked with the Governor to advance ideas important to both parties by announcing significant, bipartisan compromises on regulatory reform and criminal justice. The regulatory reform compromise will eliminate or steamline regulations by 25% over the next three years. On criminal justice, the House agreed to raise the felony larceny threshold to $500 in exchange for Governor Northam's support for stronger restitution enforcement laws. Other accomplishments include passing adoption reform to help children find loving families sooner, legislation to help workers get the training they need to find a good-paying job, and bills to fight the opioid crisis.

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60th District Digest February 9, 2018

Posted in Newsletters

SESSION:

I have had a pretty good week with my legislation this week.

  • The Henrietta Lacks Commission bill (HB1415) was approved in Appropriations sub-committee on Tuesday and will now go to full committee for a vote.
  • HB55, which increases the speed limit on highway 501 south from the town of South Boston to the North Caroline line, has been passed by the House and is now in the Senate.
  • HB 564, which addresses solid blaze orange or solid blaze pink hunting apparel has also passed the House and is now in the Senate.
  • HB 1328, which exempts disabled hunters from having to hunt from an elevated stand, has cleared full committee and will be heard in the House.
  • I am still working with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries on HB 1414, price of bear hunting tag.
Tagged in: issues legislation
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60th District Digest February 2, 2018

Posted in Newsletters

Session
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 and Del. James Edmunds testify for the Henrietta Lacks billMatt 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.

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60th District Digest January 26, 2018

Posted in Newsletters

Photo: Delegate James Edmunds in Agriculture Sub Committee

Session
The pace has definitely picked up here in Richmond and meetings are lasting longer each day. Legislation is passing through sub-committees at a rapid pace, which makes your emails even more important so that I can get a good feel on proposed legislation. Today I will focus on some of the bills we are working on.

HB 222 Modification to State and Corporate Income Tax
I have been working with Delegate Will Morefield, from Southwest Virginia, over the summer to craft HB 222 (and I am co-patron of the bill) into something that would benefit rural areas and help to create jobs.

Briefly, if passed as it is now written, this bill will allow a new company (one that had no property or payroll in Virginia) that locates in designated localities and (i) invests at least $5 million in new capital investment and creates at least 10 jobs, or (ii) creates at least 50 jobs in a qualified locality, to be issued grants or loans from the Commonwealth Opportunity Fund and Tobacco Commission to pay their estimated tax liability for nine years.

I feel that this will be a powerful incentive in luring new company locations and will give our area a competitive edge over locations that do not have this advantage.

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