I hope you had an enjoyable Easter with your family and friends.
In this update, I provide a preview of what to expect during the April 15th Reconvened Session, give you a preview of my Legislative breakfast, share helpful information for renovation plans you may have, and highlight activities and volunteers in the district.
April 15th Reconvene Session
The Governor vetoed 17 bills and recommended amendments to 68 bills passed during the 2015 Session of the General Assembly. Additionally, for the first time since 1998, the Governor signed the budget without further amendments or vetoes. This Wednesday, the General Assembly will reconvene to address the Governor’s actions.
I’m pleased to report the Governor has approved of all my legislation that passed this session. He signed into law without any additional action several pieces of my legislation to include:
- HB 1898: economic development legislation that will ensure a $2 billion investment by Shandong Tranlin Paper Company in Chesterfield County and creation of at least 2,000 full-time jobs by the end of 2019
- HB 1897: legislation that would limit the amount of athletic revenue that colleges and universities collect from mandatory student fees to make college more affordable for Virginia families
- HB 1466: legislation I carried to expand the jurisdiction of the Capitol Police for the purpose of providing security for the Governor-elect, Lieutenant Governor-elect, Attorney General-elect, and members of the Court of Appeals
Governor McAuliffe did make amendments to my Veteran Care center bills. My legislation as passed provides $66.7 million in state funding for new veterans care centers in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. Care centers are built with 65 percent federal funding and 35 percent state funding.
There is no assurance that the Veteran’s Administration (VA) will fund these facilities in the near future due to limitations in the VA construction funding levels. The Governor amended the bills to use state funding for partial build now and federal reimbursement later to accomplish an earlier full build out of both care centers. This plan is the result of a collaborative effort by DVS, members of the General Assembly, the Secretary of Finance and Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs and the Governor.
The two new centers will provide better service to veterans in Northern VA and Hampton Roads and will make more beds accessible to area veterans near the Richmond and Roanoke care centers. The new centers will also mean construction jobs, and creation of up to 600 care center jobs that are paid for with Medicaid, Medicare, veteran benefits, and private funds.
19th Annual Legislative Breakfast
Historic Swift Creek Mill, built in 1663
On May 18th I’ll be holding my 19th Annual Legislative Breakfast at Swift Creek Mill in Colonial Heights. I am very pleased that we will have at least 11 members of the General Assembly joining us for breakfast. My special breakfast guest will be Pete Snyder.
Pete is a highly regarded Virginia entrepreneur and social media pioneer. He appears several times a week on Fox News and the Fox Business Channel. As many breakfast attendees are focused on expanding Virginia’s economy and creating good paying jobs, I am sure the views of this very successful Virginia business leader are going to be well received.
Invites went out last week in the mail. If you did not receive an invitation and are interested in attending, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call 811 before you dig
Warm weather traditionally is a time to start renovations at home. A quick message from Columbia Gas reminds us that every digging job requires a call to 811 – from large-scale projects to smaller do-it-yourself (DIY) projects.
Whether you’re planting a tree or putting up a playset, always call 811 at least three business days before you start digging. A representative from a local utility will mark the approximate location of the buried utilities.
Here are seven project examples you may be planning that require calling 811 before you dig:
- Building a deck
- Planting a tree
- Putting up a mailbox
- Putting up a playset
- Installing a fence
- Planting a bush or hedge
- Pouring concrete
Around the District
I’m very thankful for all of the volunteers that help our office run smoothly. On April 8th we had a full office working to stuff envelopes. Special thanks to Pat Childers, Marlene Wood, Gary Pelfrey, Carolyn Gwaltney, Linda Hogwood, Joy Michal, Pat Ewen, and Brenda Beazley (not pictured- Suzanna Riddle).
I had a great afternoon volunteering at the Chesterfield food bank. This great organization serves 6,000 meals to 1,200 people each week. Thank you to Paul Barr, Julie Kramer, and Kim Hill for helping organize my visit!
Marcia Sugumele stands with Kirk Cox and his cardboard cutout.
I was pleased to be joined by many friends when I spoke at the Chesterfield County Republican Committee monthly breakfast.