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33rd District News - Time for Action!

Week 7 General Assembly Session 2014

 

Dear friend,
 

In every weekly update we’ve sent out so far, I’ve had at least one action item: that you pray for me, my team here at the office, and our other elected officials in Richmond.

 

This week I have more work for you. These action items aren’t difficult, but they have to be done right away to make an impact.

 

It’s time to do something…

 

1) …about our AWOL attorney general. The attorney general is paid to represent the Commonwealth, and not only is he not doing it, he is working AGAINST the people and the Constitution of Virginia. That includes you. What can you do when the attorney you hired fails to show up to defend you, and instead goes to work for the opposing plaintiff? You can file a complaint with the State Bar Association to begin with. I encourage everyone to take this action. If you’re interested, send this to all your friends, post it on your Facebook page, and ask them to email or call my office and I will provide everyone who asks with simple instructions showing how to prepare and submit the complaint. It is literally a two minute project that will help protect Virginia’s constitutionally enshrined definition of traditional marriage.

 

2) …about our Budget. The House Budget includes items explained below that are likely to be contested. This will be resolved when the House and Senate budgets are sent to conference. The House conferees that will work out the differences between the House and Senate Budgets are listed below. Please contact them to let them know you oppose rushing Virginia into a Medicaid expansion, and that you support reduced State funding for abortions. Senate conferees have not yet been named...

 

3) …by giving me a call or a visit to discuss your concerns, opinions, or issues that are near and dear to your heart. I’d like to hear from you. My contact information is in the right column.

 
 
LAST WEEK AT A GLANCE
 

Thursday was a long day on the floor of the House as we debated two budget bills and numerous amendments to the budget. Remember, the true test of success for the budget will be found in what it DOES accomplish, not what it doesn’t. Let’s look at some highlights of what it DOES do:

 

The House budget does:

  • Save more than $380 million in two separate accounts; Virginia’s “Rainy Day Fund” and a revenue reserve to meet future revenue reductions.
  • Include $81 million in total funds to restore Medicaid inflation adjustments for hospitals
  • Include $111 million in inflation adjustments for Virginia nursing homes
  • Include $530 million for public education, and an additional $210 million for higher education
  • Emphasize saving and the core functions of our government (like education, healthcare, public safety, and transportation.
  • The House budget for Medicaid does NOT include funding for abortions beyond the minimum funding required by Federal law (providing Medicaid funding for abortions in the case of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is at risk). I spoke up to preserve this amendment on Thursday on the House floor, and was tremendously encouraged when other pro-life legislators gathered around me and encouraged me and pledged to support this amendment as well. Let the conference committee and your legislators know you support this sensible approach to spending!

The budget debate took a surreal turn this week. Delegate Riley Ingram and others were summoned to the Governor’s office, and according to Ingram, the Governor proposed a simple quid-pro-quo: pass a Medicaid expansion and your district will get the good legislation it needs, or don’t pass it and that legislation will die in the Senate. Ingram, speaking of a biofuels initiative he hopes will help his district, said

 

“The governor told me that if I did not go with it (Medicaid expansion) that the Senate was going to kill the bill.” (Ingram, as quoted in the Richmond Times Dispatch)

 

Ingram (according to him) replied with a polite, “Thanks, and will that be all, Mr. Governor?” After this story went public and the Washington-style politics was exposed, it was like turning on a light and watching the cockroaches scatter. Riley got a call saying his bill passed in committee, UNOPPOSED.

 
Governor McAuliffe promised during his campaign to work to create jobs, but now the Governor is pulling out the ethical stops to pass an expansion of an already-bloated program that could cost the Commonwealth dearly in jobs and revenue in the long term while drawing money from essential services.
 
Tough Break
 

The “Tebow” bill – HB 63, which would give school districts the discretion to allow home instructed students the ability to play sports, was passed by indefinitely in the Senate Education Committee. This measure isn’t dead, of course; there is always next year, and this bill has come a long way from the first year it was introduced. I mention this both as an update and an illustration – every vote counts. Every vote on every committee counts, and every vote for every legislator we put in office ultimately has long-lasting and varied ramifications.

 

Hammering Away

 

I have a new weekly exercise routine. Once a week I beat a path to Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne’s door and ask him plainly, “What are you doing about the tolls on the DTR?”

 

Governor McAuliffe fought to provide toll relief for folks using the Elizabeth River Tunnels in Hampton Roads because they had to pay sky-high tolls…. of less than $4 round trip. I want to see the same concern shown for the folks in Northern Virginia paying $17 for a round trip, and I’m going to keep asking the question until I get an answer. Read my letter to Secretary Layne here.
 
 
 

Meetings and Events

 

    This week I had the opportunity to meet with:
    • Members of the Senate Committee on Local Government to talk to them about my HB 652, which passed their Committee (and later the full Senate) unanimously!
    • Constituents Mary Spare (Round Hill) and Nancy Markley (Lovettsville), school nurses in the Loudoun County Public Schools. They and their fellow nurses and other staff are providing top-notch health services to our students, and I am grateful for their work and their visit!
    • This week I visited with a LOT of you! I hosted a tele-town hall, and more than 1,500 people listened in and asked and answered questions, giving feedback on issues like an external audit of Medicaid (which 83% of respondents supported), applying a weighted ranking system to transportation projects (68% supported), and working to reduce tolls (a whopping 95% supported). I thoroughly enjoyed hosting the town hall, but please don’t wait until the next one to let me know about issues that matter to you – pick up the phone and call me, write me an email, or come visit, and I’ll be glad to hear from you.
    • Virginia Military Institute Cadet Sam Guidry, a constituent from Leesburg, stopped by to talk about the great education and preparation for leadership he is receiving at VMI.

     

    A Look Ahead
     

    While the House continues to consider Senate bills and vice-versa, the budget will also be a major focus for the next two weeks.

     
    Many of you will be receiving letters from me in the mail. I am including information about legislation of interest to constituents. Some of the House Pages helped me with the mailing this week.
     
    By the way, the House Page program is a great opportunity for young people. It is a full-time job allowing 13-14-year-old students to be a part of the legislative process. Application for the Page Programs opens in the summer/fall for the next January's session.
     
     
    REMEMBER 
     
    Please pray for safety and wisdom for my team and me, and for all members of our government.
     
    Please don’t hesitate to call my office if you have any questions, concerns, or would like to stop by and visit. 
     
    Sincerely, 

     

     

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    Please forward this email to your friends and encourage them to sign up for weekly updates. Click here to sign up.

     

     

     

    CONTACT ME!

     

    Richmond Office:
    General Assembly Building
    Room 721
    Capitol Square
    Richmond, Virginia 23219
    (804) 698-1033
     
    District Office:
    P.O. Box 6
    Hamilton, Virginia 20159
    (540) 751-8364

    Phone: 540-751-8364

    Web: VoteLaRock.us

    Email: info@VoteLaRock.us

    Authorized and paid for by Dave LaRock for Delegate

     


    Paid for and Authorized by Dave LaRock for Delegate
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